Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mukama Onyirize

She buried another child recently. There are two graves now with small headstones.

The tears are long past. But the hollowness in her eyes is revealed as we talk.

She shows me hospital notices. We discuss the labored days of care.

I express my sorrow for her loss and we pray.

Her carefully written notes are for Psalm 86.

We read.

As we ponder the words and the Psalmist’s heart…

One message presses into my heart and pours out in explanation.

God is meant to be near.

He is not far off, unfeeling and cold.

He knows the dark and treacherous places that bind us. And he waits there. Longing to set us free.

He. Is. There.

As we weep. When we fail. When we break. In the midst of our ugly, ugliness.

When I prepared to depart she showed me the words of some Rutoro songs she wants to teach to our church. I asked her to sing a verse of the first song.

“Mukama onyirize…” repeated throughout the chorus.

She smiles awareness that this melody is not randomly chosen.

“God, come near.”

“Mukama onyirize.”

For one broken daughter, burying her children and struggling to live through.

Indeed, for any broken daughter.

“Mukama onyirize.”

Let it be so.