I’ve been thinking about this video that went viral on Social Media of a father and son discussion after the attack on Paris.
I think one of the reason it went viral is because it’s so human. Here’s a young boy and his father. That itself is beautiful. It’s also such a contrast to the previous day’s event of terrorism. People need to see some form of humanity after such horrific news.
I imagine those who love kids were drawn to it too. I myself have children about the child’s age and children that are younger. So a part of me was drawn to watch the video when I saw it being shared online.
But I am also a bit disturbed by the video. Actually my feelings are mixed. I tried to be understanding about people grieving and that this is a child. I gave this some time and several days before I blogged about it.
First off what I thought was right was when the son said, “But there’s bad guys daddy…” and the father replied, “Yes, but there’s bad guys everywhere.” I love how the father said that without skipping a beat, with a smile and patience. Smooth. That was so true in that evil is all around us. Such a profound statement of the human condition. Actually evil is also within us.
His son then said “They have guns, they can shoot us because they’re really, really mean daddy.” His dad replied “It’s ok, they might have guns but we have flowers.” To which the son brought up the concern, “But flowers don’t do anything, they’re for…they’re for…” The dad response was, “Of course they do, look, everyone is putting flowers. It’s to fight against guns.” “It’s to protect?” “Exactly.”
I realize it’s not easy to communicate everything to a child so young. I realize the goal at that time is to comfort a child who has experienced something very horrific and depraved the day before. But I still have a hard time with the idea of saying flowers and candles protect us from evil men with guns with radical ideology. Humanly speaking it was men with guns that ended the bloodshed from continuing on further.
But there’s still a place for flowers and candles. Sure there’s “a time to kill…” but there’s also “a time to heal.” A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time for war and a time for peace. As Christians we should weep with those who weep.
A memorial for the victims filled with flowers and candles lighting is possible because there’s a moment in time when evil was confronted head on by those who had the duty and authority to fight fire with fire. I’d light a candle to also honor them because honor is due.