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Monday, April 9, 2012

Choosing the Light

Easter is an important time to take stock of our lives, our values and our purpose. For me Easter is a particularly powerful time as I reflect on the suffering of my Lord Jesus Christ, and His great sacrifice to wipe away our sins. I think about the people who scorned and rejected Him, the people who crucified Him. They must have been filled with such hate.

It is a sad fact that there will always be hateful people around us, just as it is a fact that people with genuine goodwill also exist. Even at the beginning of time, according to the book of Genesis, Kane was jealous of his brother Abel. So much so he killed his own brother. When asked where his brother was by the Lord he retorted, "Am I my brothers keeper?"

There will always be people who choose to hate others based on various things including race, religion, sex and even tribe. They may choose to hate others based on how they live their lives and what they stand for. And yet the Bible tells us that the greatest commandment of all is to LOVE. Sounds easy, but in practice it seems far more difficult, and the mind finds all kinds of reasons to justify placing hate above love.

Let us take a moment to look at ethnic hate. If racism is wrong then tribalism is just as wrong, but while we abhor racism here in Kenya, we choose to embrace tribalism. Adolf Hitler was a truly disturbed and evil man, yet with his charisma and due to difficult economic and social times, he was able to mobilize the masses to support pure and sick evil, the massacre of over six million people - the holocaust. The word holocaust is Greek, holo means whole and caust means burnt. The holocaust was a vile and horrifying strategy to destroy all the Jews and those not considered perfect or part of the Aryan race, which Hilter himself did not qualify for.

In Rwanda, as Tutsi's and moderate Hutu's woke up on that first morning of the genocide in April 1994, they could not have imagined their neighbors would be there, ready to hack them to death. But they were, and it happened. In Kibuye and Bugesera they say blood flowed like a river. The blood of babies, children, mothers and fathers, the elderly. There was no mercy, there was no humanity. Pure and horrifying evil.

I have suffered two racist attacks in my life. I will share those experiences later but what has been most elucidating for me was this - the mood and spirit of the post election violence in Kenya in 2008 bore the same stench of racial hatred I experienced earlier in my life. Essentially racism and tribalism are siblings, children of Hate and Bigotry. They thrive in a community of Ignorance.

If you are embracing hate in your life, hate of any kind, take a moment to look at it carefully and analyze where it is coming from. Then give yourself a gift by letting it go. Just let go. Let it flow away. If you don't it will eat at you like a cancer.

Choose to focus your life on positive things and you will start to see opportunities everywhere, where instead you previously saw challenges - of course your vision was impaired by the veil of hate, division and self-righteousness.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you Julie ... It is indeed hard, but the reward for letting go is certainly worth the effort. I will reflect on your powerful reflections as I try to let go of what I consider malicious let down by one so close to me ... I pray for the strength and courage to let go even if it means putting distance (even for a short while) between me and that particular source of evil, lest I too become as evil.

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  2. nothing is as powerful as the power of hate but nothing is much more powerful as the power of LOVE

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  3. 'If you are embracing hate in your life, hate of any kind, take a moment to look at it carefully and analyze where it is coming from. Then give yourself a gift by letting it go. Just let go. Let it flow away. If you don't it will eat at you like a cancer.'

    These words will always resound in my mind...very wise words. No one would have put it better than that. Cheers Julie.

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  4. This is very good Julie. I share your sentiments on this vice of tribalism that our country is facing. Its good that we Kenyans we get to learn the true meaning of neighborhood. Loving our neighbors that is our fellow Kenyans without preference of any tribe. Lets pray for God blessings.

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