Lucille Clerc, a French, London-based illustrator, is the artist who created and shared this image a few hours after the horrific murders in France last week.
She included a caption with her image: “Break one, thousands will rise.”
This pencil tribute has gone viral all across social media as people around the world try to come to grips with this terrible day. In response to this and the other calls for unity, almost 4 million people marched across France yesterday.
Isn’t that a powerful image?
(Note: I had never heard of Charlie Hebdo until last week. Though I am sharing this image, I do not support the work produced by that particular newspaper, which I’ve since learned chooses to be regularly and shockingly offensive.)
The more I looked at it, though, the more thoughts I had that went beyond the current tragedy, political cartoonists, and freedom of speech. At first I had thoughts about major events in history. Then my thoughts turned to people in my life who were broken and then rose from their sorrow. Here are just a few — from the well-known to the personal:
- The killing of the Jews during World War II. Soon after the war ended, the nation of Israel was born.
- The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York. We’re still here — 300 million people living, creating, working, and leading.
- My close friend’s family destroyed by divorce. The children of that failed marriage now have their own families that are strong and intact.
- A friend who lost her husband recently and unexpectedly. She is now giving her time to ministries in her church and community.
- A friend who suffered abuse as a child. She is now an elementary school teacher who makes sure that each one of her students feels secure and loved.
- A mother who shared with me how she felt when she learned that her baby, still in her womb, was dead. She and her husband now have four children.
There are many, many more stories that I could add, but I’ll stop with the most meaningful and hopeful thought that comes to my mind when I look at this image: Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. He was broken, but He is risen, and I and millions of people have changed lives and a new hope because of our faith in what He did.
“Break one, thousands will rise.” Rise — in number, wisdom, hope, experience, courage, perseverance, faith, and love.
What comes to mind when you look at this image? Did something happen in your life or another’s life that is an example of “break one, thousands will rise”?