We shouldn't take peace for granted. But... we do.
Because I live in a country where peace is the "normal"... the reality... it's difficult for me to grasp being in a place where peace is not an absolute. Every day is another day for peace to be disrupted.
Riots have been breaking out all over K@mpala for the past several weeks. The reason for the protests, which have become riots, are being blamed on the risnig cost of fuel and food. Now... I am not opposed to people "demonstrating" or "protesting" something that they disagree with, but the violence is the issue here.
The problem is that the man responsible for the protests has publicly admitted he will not accept the president's new term. He has started a campaign to protest rising fuel and food costs, but some believe his real "protest" is against the president.
These protests have turned violent. The protestors are blocking roads, starting fires, throwing rocks at people that are not joining their efforts, and needlessly causing chaos in the city. Yet, they blame the police for the violence. The police have become involved... to keep the peace.
It seems that the man opposing the president's new term is determined to continue with his protests, even if the people he claims to care about are being hurt... and even killed.
I don't pretend to know all the ends and outs of this situation. But what I do know is that peace is fragile here... and innocent people are dying.
Please pray for this situation. Pray for this city. Pray for this country. Pray for this continent.
And honestly, what truly breaks my heart is... how much would I care if I were not here in the midst of it? Would I think about the individuals being hurt, or the children being killed here, if I weren't witnessing it first hand? How easily do I dismiss events around the world because I am not personally effected?
My plans were disrupted today and for a little while the consistent sounds of gunfire was unsettling. But, I don't live the reality of what is happening to the people here. I will go home eventually and leave this behind.
The challenge is... keeping our hearts engaged when the chaos and pain are far away from us. Because when our hearts are engaged... and something truly matters to us... we pray. And prayer... changes things.