We all have been hearing the news, seeing the horrific pictures and videos on social media on what is currently happening in Syria. As we scroll our phones we each pause for a moment and exclaim “oh so sad” we say a rushed prayer and move on to the next post on our news feed which is probably a funny one. We burst out laughing as we immediately hit the share or retweet button captioning the video or picture ‘Lol. Funniest thing ever!’ now having totally forgotten the Syria picture or video.
Many of us have not had the time to pause and really think about what the poor souls in Syria are going through. How can we when we have not walked a mile in their shoes? How quickly we forget the edited and user friendly version of their sorrow in those pictures and videos. Would we kindly stop for a moment and imagine or dramatize their life as it is? Here goes.
I look at myself in the mirror one last time before I hit the road for work. I like the way I look, powerful professional woman. I walk down the street with a smile on my face as I flag the oncoming bus. The bus conductor signals the driver to stop for me. The conductor who is in a good mood dances happily at the loud music from the bus. I smile as he ushers me in. Look at me world, this is what a person with goal, dreams and a bright future looks like. You are looking at the next Attorney General of Kenya or Chief Justice .Our country is climbing up the global economic ladder with many foreign investors eyeing our market that is full of potential. The future can only get better. (That’s mine. It’s your turn. Insert your own story in this paragraph).
On one sunny day as I make my watertight arguments before the Honourable Judge, we all hear what sounds like a bomb, grenade….we are not sure since such weapons of violence are foreign to us. Gun shots follow. Everyone scatters to the safest corner or place they can find. Is it another Westgate kinda terror attack? We are quick to produce our smart phones to get the trending news online. Thank God for technology. We see all T.V stations bear the same breaking news headline ‘KENYA (your country) IS UNDER ATTACK’. We get shaken by the news but feel hopeful since it cannot surely last forever right? We shall be fine in a few days and heal as we always do.
The next few days that follow are like a scene from a horror movie. No one is safe, everyone is on the hunt for safe ground. The few days turn to weeks, the weeks to months and months to years. Home is no longer home and neither does it resemble what it was. I always thought home was the safest place until we heard ISIS down the street beheading and shooting people, forcing us to run for our dear lives. How we made it only God knows. Our once beautiful country and its glory in the world, is now only a shadow of what it once was. It is not recognizable anymore. The people are no longer afraid but something beyond afraid.
The once ordinary life of going to work or school, building the nation and the future dreams are a distant past. You don’t even know what to dream and have goals felt like, what to have education and degree was, what to have a job was, what to have a decent meal was, what to walk down the street for a stroll and a normal life is. How do you even fall in love at such a time?
You no longer live to gain achievements, wealth or success but only to survive one more day without being slaughtered, bombed, shot at, raped or sold in the human market. This is the new normal with sounds of gunshots and bombs the new sound. I turn and look back down the road, I cannot help but be amazed by the hundreds of now called refugees behind us. They once were doctors, lawyers, engineers, school children, and leaders, nothing that mattered before matters anymore. We walked on foot from Nairobi town and now we were almost at the border. Vehicles are a distant memory. This is the everyday life of the innocent lives in Syria and all places under the ISIS rule.
What does the world do in such a time? How can we stand with people we cannot reach physically? How can we remember them every day? How do we be there for them? How do they know that I love them and carry them in my heart? What can the world do other than pray? Yet even as I think of prayer I wonder, how do i begin to pray for them? Where do I start? What do I ask God on their behalf? What is the perfect prayer for such a situation? Still prayer seems to be the one thing that will allow all of us to stand with them.
Would you kindly stop long enough to say a sincere and persistent prayer for Syria?
“Dear God, be with everyone in Syria most especially the children. Lord please show yourself strong to each and every one of them. Lord only you can do the impossible. Only you can reach them each second, minute and hour without fail as you fight for them. Lord hear our humble united cry as nations of the world.
As for ISIS I can say nothing other than Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).”Amen.