I heard about last week’s bombs in London while Jane and I were on the pilgrimage trail of Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. We got back home last night and I’ve caught up on the news a bit more, although I’m still waiting to find out just how close to home the effects have come across our network of friends, families and work colleagues.
It’s very sad that some people seem to think that other’s lives are so expendable that they can be carelessly sacrificed in order to make a political point. In fact, as far as I’m aware, there hasn’t even been any official claim on the four explosions that scarred the London transport network last week, making these events even sadder, their only apparent purpose being to further an atmosphere of fear.
What is an appropriate response? Certainly sympathy and support for those who have suffered directly and through the loss or injury of loved ones. I also think it’s important to counter the fear with realistic, well-grounded hope. As I’ve been walking the Way of St James, I’ve been reflecting on Jesus and the hope that is found in him (the way, the truth and the life – John 14:6). As a Christian (ie. Christ-following) pilgrim I know that “here I have no lasting city but am seeking the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14) and my hope is not set in returning to the luxuries of my daily life from the exigences of life on the road nor in health, fitness and well being but in the person who will lead me to my heavenly home.
Finally, I’ve also noticed that violence has continued in Iraq – it’s a sobering thought that the Iraqi people have suffered more casualties over the weekend than occurred in London last week. As I’m moved by thoughts of the bombs here in London may it not be that I forget other places where terror stalks far more often!