I’ve traveled all over the world with my husband, but I’ve never been to Paris. So next May we’re going on an “immersion” trip with another couple (and a small group). We’ll be staying in apartments just outside the city and taking daily excursions without having to unpack and move from place to place. Perfect.
Paris. When the recent terrorist attacks happened there, in addition to the overwhelming sorrow I immediately felt for the victims and the whole city and country, I also felt a wave of discomfort about our upcoming trip. Would we be safe there? My husband travels internationally fairly often, speaking at medical meetings. He’s been to India and China several times. Those trips always make me a little nervous. But who would have thought that Paris would feel like a potentially unsafe destination?
At our church’s women’s retreat this past weekend, a woman asked our speaker (who is from London) a question about forgiving our enemies, in light of what had just happened in Paris. The speaker had just talked about how loving our enemies is “the measure of our likeness to God.” A hush fell over the room when he said this. He talked about how Christ prayed for those who crucified Him, even while hanging on the cross. We talked about what “our crosses” were and what it meant to truly love our enemies. Could we possibly love the terrorists who murdered all those people in Paris?
That’s an ongoing spiritual struggle. Meanwhile, on the practical side, my husband and I got out the brochure about trip insurance yesterday afternoon to read the fine print and decide whether or not we needed to invest in some protection. One of the events covered in the brochure is “Trip Cancellation/Interruption Due to Terrorist Incident.” Who knows what the odds are that another attack would happen in Paris while we are there? But the cost of the insurance relative to what we would lose if the trip was cancelled is relatively small (about 10% of the trip cost) so I think we’re going to make the investment. We’ll be purchasing a bit of financial peace of mind. Will we be worrying about our safety while we are there? Possibly, but as a friend pointed out recently, if terror can strike as randomly as in a church prayer meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, there’s no “safe place.” (This friend was in Tunisia when the beach massacre happened this summer.) For people of faith, our “safety” is only in God’s will. Prayer is the best trip insurance.