Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norwegian Terror Attacks: Let's Stop Pontificating and Start Praying

Vi sørger med deg, Norge. (We grieve with thee, Norway.)
Kan dine barn hvile i fred. (May thy children rest in peace.)
If our family's experience over the last 10 years is any guide, I urge you to pray for Norway, the land of the midnight sun. They are suffering from the worst violence in their land since World War II. Stop pontificating. Pray for the souls of the departed, pray for their families, pray for those who survived these attacks too. Believe me, their lives will forever be altered by this violence.

I'm the wife of a man who narrowly escaped Tower One of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2011. He and his colleagues climbed down the stairs from the 68th floor within 11 minutes of the tower falling. We did not find our comfort in politicians or pundits or bloggers.

Unless you're happen to be a national or international political leader with actual influence or clout, don't waste what time has been gifted to you by musing on your blog or someone else's whether Norway's political culture encouraged this, whether Presidents Carter and Obama deserved their Nobel Prizes, what fundamentalist Christianity or the Masons have to do with this, and on and on. These are  dead-end ruminations. We do not know what we are talking about. Maybe the presence of such overt evil makes us think we can talk it away.

The dead and the living need more of us than that. 

In the end, what we know for sure is that human beings have been blessed with free will. Some people use it to commit evil acts. The rest of us can use our free will to make the world a better place in ordinary, concrete ways. Hug your child. Help someone across the street. Smile at a stranger. Pray for the dead. Pray for those suspected of violence. Pray for those who survive it.

Do not permit the forces of evil in this world turn you into a strident moralist. Let's drop the comments about the suspect's head shots, about his Polo shirt and so on. We're not helping anyone. Listen, for a moment, to the FaderVår (Our Father), sung in Norwegian. Then, let's all offer up prayers of own.

Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity,
apathy by fervor. Help me to forget myself
And reach out toward others.


  1. Wise words, sadly many will not heed them, but I am with you in this.
    St Olaf ora pro nobis.

  2. "The dead and the living need more of us than that."

    Excellent post, I will heed your words (with prayers). One of the best I have ever read on blogger.

  3. Prayers are the one thing we do need - to heal, to unite. Thank you for this post, written from a place deep within your own heart and experience. Thank you.

  4. Thanks friends. Just think how the world would change if we channeled our pain, our disgust, our sorrow over this into prayer.

    I am blessed to have some friends praying with me.

  5. This make so much sense. Prayers.

  6. Thank you for posting this Allison. So often we humans can get caught up in negative activities. Praying is the only answer that will actually help. Thanks for bringing it to the attention of all us bloggers. I'm praying!

    God bless!