Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sounds of Silence

I pray en route to chapel. There's nothing quite like a brain-jarring boda-boda ride over the washboard roads of Maseno. All anyone can do is pray.

There's also nothing quite like the recent soul-scarring earthquake in Haiti. All we can do is pray. And we do, hands and hearts together.

Poverty and disaster are no strangers to Kenya. We are on our knees for and with our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. To paraphrase President Obama, "That's just what (Christians) do."

Have you noticed, though, that while the press makes increasingly futile attempts to describe the indescribable, the people of Haiti simply refer to the earthquake as "the event"?

I am reminded of the reaction here to the crisis that killed 1,500 in politically-instigated tribal violence. The people of Kenya simply refer to that unspeakable sorrow as "the fracas."

And when we are informed on the ward, "The patient collapsed," it simply means, "The patient died." I used to go running until I realized there is no "Code Blue" here.

There are no words... Try as we might to re-frame our pain by cloaking it in labels, terminology cannot tame tribulation. We simply need to pray in silence.

I wonder... If the whole world prays together, will the sounds of silence be heard?

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