(journaled thoughts following our family's visit to a genocide memorial in Rwanda)
Piles of clothes. Piles. And piles.
The stench of decay is strong.
The entire area is hushed. Somber. We speak in low soft tones.
Agonizing stories. Memories.
Plaguing and oppressive.
I’m breathing in and out. But I feel suffocated.
I want to apologize to our guide. I’m sorry she has to tell me this.
I’m sorry there is such a story to tell.
Tiled, tidied graves.
Jeff remarks that things are more organized than when he was here before. Trees have grown.
I shield my children from the stories. The stories, seem too much for the ears and minds and eyes of my beloved.
Father God. How these seconds. Minutes. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. The reality, not just the stories.
How you must have longed to shield your creation, your children. Each heart and thought and hair of the head. That you have numbered. Each soul you designed.
I am overwhelmed.
Throngs of people quietly fill the road in front of us. We somberly pull aside on the road to wait for their passage. Memorials and gatherings at every town and village along our route.
Our hearts join that cry.
His Spirit intercedes in our weakness with groans of the inexpressible.
Before us, a stark contrast. Life is full of this.
The unbelievable beauty and majesty of the mountains and hills. Vast expanse of hills and valleys. Gorillas. Green. Lush. Forest. Lake.
God’s creation declares His Glory. Declares His Love.
Here. Where evil reigned for that awful time. God’s declaration goes on.
He loves. Oh. How. He. Loves.
To proclaim so unceasingly. The I AM.
We never deserve You.
Father God forgive us. Forgive us who did nothing. Forgive us, humankind, who did everything.
We cry out for your mercy. Your healing and your peace.
Please start in my heart.
Cleanse the prejudice that hides or camouflages itself in the corners.
Cleanse any resentment and bitter root.
Yank and pull. No matter the pain.
I turn my eyes from the vastness of this place. The natural splendor and the wounds that remain.
And look inward. To what I can effect.
My forgiveness. My love. My heart.
And from there. The world changes.
One surrender at a time.