I’ve decided there are no relaxing days in Rwanda. I tried to make it so this morning by getting up early and having my coffee on the dining room balcony while journaling and praying. But that was followed by a never ending-day of home visits and bible studies with six year olds and more home visits and my first close up view of extreme poverty. But before all that I sat down to talk with God, because I needed to talk through the emotions and pain and anger I experienced yesterday at the genocide memorial.
One million people killed in one hundred days. That equals 10,000 men, women, children and babies murdered. Every. Single. Day. I do not understand this. I don't understand how this could happen. How neighbors could kill their neighbors. How husbands could kill their wives. How priests and pastors could help kill entire congregations. How can this be understood? How do I process this?
This morning I read from Psalm 83. It’s not a happy Psalm. A lot of them aren’t. A lot of the Psalms are angry and accusing even towards God, asking really hard questions. Psalm 83 seemed appropriate.
God do not keep silent.
Do not be deaf, God; do not be idle.
See how Your enemies make an uproar.
I wrote these words this morning in my prayer journal: “Jesus, help me with my feelings towards the genocidaires. It is easy to hate them, yet that is not what you want from me.”
It is so easy to hate. Why I wonder does that seem to be the human go to emotion? I am always cognizant that here in Rwanda the ground my feet are touching was once covered in death. I interact with the people here and wonder, what were you doing then? I know that as I walk down the street I am passing murderers. How do I process this? I don’t want to hate. I don’t want to cast blame.
This is one of the great benefits of the lamenting, mournful Psalms. This is where I go when I’m angry with the pain and suffering and injustice revolving in our world like a merry go round. These Psalms give me permission to be angry with God. To ask why? And to get to a place where I’m asking God to guide me through emotions that could cause me harm.
Psalm 13 seems appropriate for Rwanda's season of death.
Lord, how long will You forget me?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long will I store up anxious concerns within me,
agony in my mind every day?
How long will my enemy dominate me?
Consider me and answer, Lord my God.
Restore brightness to my eyes;
otherwise, I will sleep in death.
My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,”
and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in Your faithful love;
my heart will rejoice in Your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord
because He has treated me generously.
Friends on a Thousand Hills - Rwanda Part 5