FROM A HURTING HEART

I’m thinking of Westgate and thinking of people who until Saturday were living their lives, on holiday, taking a few minutes to shop or planning a leisurely day exploring the mall. And now, for those that are alive, their lives will never be the same. Security can be an illusion; the things that we think make us safe – money in the bank, locks on our doors, the perfect love…everything. It’s an illusion.

I’m thinking of Nigeria, and how immediately, everyone’s mind is going to our various malls. And we’re all thinking the same thought – if this happens here, we’re sunk. If what happened in Westgate happens here, will it be citizens fighting to rescue others, or will our forces move in a concerted team? Will we donate blood? Do we have blood banks? Will NEMA immediately set up counselling tents and mobile hospitals or will there be wrangling over the true number of militants or casualties?

I saw a tweet yesterday that police in Abuja are carrying out stop and search operations and I try not to sink into despair. What are they searching for? I’ve been out in Abuja at night, they look into the car, sweep their torch around and then ask if there’s anything for the boys. Or is it the guys who sweep a mirror under the car? Searching for something that might be hidden in a seat or even in a handbag?

Am I the only one that thinks that we can be more proactive from now? Set up legislation that makes all malls have security features such as a central alarm system, huge gates that can lock down sections at once, thus ensuring containment. Am I the only one that thinks that perhaps mall shops should have more than one access and that it is time that our police force received equipment and training to ensure that they know what to do if something like this happens here?

This weekend over 100 people in Borno died. Last week people were slaughtered in an uncompleted building in Abuja. Last week suicide bombers killed people in Pakistan. And I’m sick of it, sick of the death, sick of the hate, sick of the lives that will be forever altered because some people believe that it is their right to take other people’s lives.

I want it to be better, want life to get better, but there is a part of me that knows that this is it, we’re approaching the end, it doesn’t get better, we’re rounding up now.

I don’t know how to deal with this kind of cruelty; this casual evil. I don’t know how to rationalize it into something that makes sense. Help me to be a light Abba, for the short time between now and when You come, help me to shine my light. Help me to be a relief from the evil and the hate. Help me to be a pure reflection of You, to serve in my own way to lighten this corner of the world that You have made my responsibility. Show me how not to give up, how to deal with this, how to turn this pain in my heart into something pure and good and powerful.

I don’t know how You do it, how do You deal with the death and the pain and the hurt? I don’t know how You can. Your children are dying before Your eyes, is Your heart breaking too Abba? Teach me to do as You do, to make this the fuel that powers my love for this dying world and the people in it.

Amen

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