After an overnight train ride from Tours, France, with others studying the French language and history, and after following the massive, jostling crowds to Paris’ famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, we were all surprised to find millions of people lining the Bastille Day parade route.
It was July 14, 1964, and the crowd was craning to see the gigantic military tanks and then, and then…the WWI and WWII hero who led his country politically and militarily against the Nazi German invasion: Charles de Gaulle!
Several thoughts coalesce for me in July.
I remember the Bastille Day parade and what it celebrated. Also known as French National Day, it commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789 and a rally against the abuse of monarchy.
I think of the July 4 celebration of our country’s revolution to establish independence from England: a revolution for freedom and regaining of individual rights.
I think, too, of our country now—violence, turmoil, misunderstanding, fear, racism, classism, homophobia, xenophobia and killings. What’s happening? What’s happening?
For solace, understanding and a commitment to action, I turn to God’s word, to the teachings of Christ, to my pastors and to my bishop.
[bctt tweet=”How can I be neighbor to those whom Christ invites me to love, care and advocate for?”]
How can I be neighbor to those whom Christ invites me to love, care and advocate for? How can I make a difference in this chaos?
Where can I find peace for myself? For my neighbor? My sister? My brother? For those unknown to me?
In Psalms 121:1-2, the psalmist sings to my heart: “I lift my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Barbara Miller served on the churchwide executive board. She lives in Naples, Fla. Do you enjoy our blogs? Donate now to help the continue the many ministries of Women of the ELCA.
Photo: By Loïc Lagarde, Fireworks 14 July, 2014, Paris CC BY-NC-ND