The piercing sounds of sirens cut through our sedated office at around 2.45pm, jolting the sleepy and tired workers and those counting down until home time awake. Something strange appeared to be happening, but not so out of the ordinary that we were alarmed, our office is located on a road used to parliament so when we saw tinted range rovers with blue lights and motor biked police stopping the traffic, it was only natural for someone to muse “perhaps they’re taking a member of the royal family to Westminster,” we all giggled glad to have had a momentary recess from what appeared to be another long and dull Wednesday.
It was not to be, whilst we tried to go back to work, 4 innocent people lay dying at the hands of Khalid Masood and 40 others injured, some of them life threateningly. Within minutes someone had received a news alert. We all sat looking at our phones and texting our loved ones, “there’s been a terror attack in Westminster!”It felt surreal; a mere mile from where we all sat, in a bridge we often walked, evil had descended. The sirens were soon nonstop, the helicopters grew louder, the office quieter as we watched the gruesome story unfold.
After a 12 year respite, terror had struck the streets of London again. A moment the media had often warned us would come was upon us. Yet we had to step out of our offices and make our way home that day, not knowing what would befall us or if another attack awaited us.
Terrorists seek to strike fear in the hearts of man, and they momentarily succeeded. Yet we all face terrors of different kinds out there, illnesses, wars, death; basically anything that is a threat to our lives and those we love. The truth is terror surrounds us every moment and no one moment defines it. So may we all have grace to stare down fear every single second of our lives until it relents!
How then do we respond to the things that seek to strike fear in the very core of our hearts? My answer came in these words;”I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. (Luke 12 verse 4)