Barcelona, Las Ramblas Attack – Are we all in this together?

I was in Barcelona the day before this week’s terrorist attack.

I only heard about the news after receiving a few messages from concerned friends and family asking me whether I was still there and am I ok. No, I got back yesterday. And yes I’m happy, safe and well in Manchester – well, as happy as you can be with this miserable summer weather. Why does the sky cry so much in Manchester? Maybe because the world is such a messed-up place right now!

This was the same introduction I got to the Manchester bombings only a few months ago. The wounds are still so raw. Europe is hurting. And they just keep the attacks flowing.

Are you out in Manchester tonight? Are you okay?

That time, there were a few more missed calls and texts.

But again, my response remained the same.

No, I was tucked away asleep in my bed. Yes, I’m fine and well.

I feel so close to these attacks, yet still so removed.

My heart truly breaks for the victims and the families and friends of these loved ones who may well be going through the worst time of their life right now.

For days my eyes would flood at the worst moments as my mind replayed the terror the young people at the Ariana Grande concert must have been feeling. How are their families? How are their friends? How will they recover from this? How maimed are they? Will they ever be able to live a ‘normal’ life again and enjoy a feeling of safety in their own city?

A friend’s daughter lost a close friend and had to take time away from school to recover emotionally.

My foster brother came home the next day with his own horror story of the event, including an unwanted memento – one of the nails stuck in his shoe from the nail bomb used for the explosion.

I cried because people lost their lives for the stupidity of another’s warped interpretation of serving god. I cried because Joe, my foster brother, was working at that event – his first ever shift at the arena as part of the security team – and had told none of us! If he had been hurt, we wouldn’t have even asked or called or text to check on him! I cried because victims who had survived would be walking with the scars – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – for a very long time. I cried because I felt helpless.

What can you do against madmen?

This post definitely did not begin with an intent to upset or relive any of this.

I actually wanted to share with you my Barcelona  travel adventures from last Saturday to Tuesday. But let’s leave that for another day.

Stay safe, pray for Barcelona, Finland, Germany, Manchester… Pray for Europe, Pray for the world.

And if, like me in those darkest moments you think, ‘what power does prayer have over this terrible situation? What can I do to help? What can I do to see a change in this world?’ I have seen and read about the effectiveness and power of prayer and the most miraculous of positive changes occurring. So do not grow weary! Keep praying.

But if you have any tips for a more proactive way to release this feeling of helplessness, let me know!

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

I thank God that tragedies such as these do not spur us to hate; but rather tragedies draw us closer to love, protect and serve one another as a city, as a continent and as a world.

Love and blessings,

Abs x

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