Sunday, September 6, 2009

I can learn from those who've killed.

Wasuzotia? (Good morning and how did you sleep? in Luganda, the local language).
The proper response here would be 'Bulungi!' literally translating 'good,' provided all is well. So I'll pretend I heard your response :)

Beginning this post is certainly difficult as we just spent an intensive week walking through the streets where the Rwandan Genocide took place as well as hearing the firsthand perspectives of some of those who experienced it. And I am reminded yet again of the brokenness that exists within every man. People justified killing in the name of the Christian faith and many of the genocides took place between people who knew each other well, often within the churches themselves. I am left with the realization that love and hate are far closer than we like to admit; where there is love, hate seems to follow closely. Perhaps it is just circumstance which prevents us from killing just as they did...

And where I struggle most is that in the time Rwandans were utterly helpless, the world at large remained entirely at a distance. And I don't even mean in the midst of the war, for that they did to themselves. But what about the follow-up?

I could go on for hours of the many gory details and injustices of the occurence, but I have not the time nor the energy to walk through it all again.

However, I can tell you that today, Rwanda is surprisingly one of the safest places in the world. They are a tangible example of a country which views reconciliation as ESSENTIAL and forgiveness is taking place. Slowly, but surely. The church as an institution is a place which is slowly healing as well. But faith in the midst of it all is dumbfounding as you see women forgiving men who slaughtered their babies in their own two hands. So the church as a people group is stronger than it has been in a long time as faith in God is strong. But not void of questions.

While not every story is a story of faith, it is remarkable to see the bridges being gapped. And I am realizing that pain, regardless to what degree it is, cannot be disregarded. And it cannot be ignored. Though this sounds basic, it's incredible how brilliant that people, including myself, become at hiding it.

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