How does hope live on…
while babies are ripped from machete-cut wombs…
while pastors burn down their own churches to kill the hunted hiding within its walls…
while best friends and neighbors turn on you, call you “cockroaches,” gang rape you, seek to kill you in torturous, demonic ways?
How did the world stand by and watch as 800,000 people were slaughtered?
(Worse yet, experts think we’d simply stand by and watch again, so long as the slaughter was in Africa.)
And so I force myself to watch and read about the Rwandan genocide…
to know in detail the most horrific piece of history in my lifetime…
to see what evil thrives when we turn blind eyes to the desperate needs of this world…
to know the guilt I own when I claim, “What does __ problem have to do with me?”
I want the genocide to haunt me. To preach to me.
Here is what the Rwandan genocide has told me so far:
- My complaints are petty.
- My potential for evil is enormous.
- My potential for courageous good is even bigger, assuming Christ lives in me.
- A self-absorbed disinterest in world events might stain my hands with bloodguilt.
- Apathy might be the greatest evil there is.
- Division between human beings is always a superficial lie.
- The human spirit is amazing and resilient.
- If Rwanda can forgive… if these people are reconciling… there is no grudge I should ever hold.
- Forgiving = believing Christ’s blood paid for even the wrong done to you, so you have no grounds to harbor resentment.
Sometimes, we need to be inspired by those who face far greater losses with courage and forgiveness and hope.
To hope when all looks hopeless is perhaps the bravest act there is.
Check out these quotes:
“Scripture makes it clear that God prefers to use the broken pieces. Then, whatever He does in our lives, we cannot take credit for it.”
“It is wrong to say that Rwanda was forgotten or hated by God. That is like saying that God forgot Jesus when He was on the cross. Jesus cried out in pain because He felt forsaken, but God had not forsaken Him. God was with Him in His pain, helping Him to achieve His purpose through that pain. Rwanda was abandoned and forgotten by the rich and powerful nations, but God did not forget Rwanda.”
“In such circumstances, if you don’t speak out clearly, you are participating. Morally, ethically you cannot shut up.”
“The horror and brutality were extreme in Rwanda. That’s why when we talk about reconciliation, when we talk about forgiveness, we are not talking about an easy thing here. We are talking about shedding miles of tears before one is able to forgive. And to repent of such cruelty requires divine motivation and the divine presence just to attempt it. It cannot be done without God. As a human being, to be able to repent of such demonic cruelty requires the cross of Jesus right in the middle of it.”
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Today was Day 19 of
31 Days of Waiting:
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