Last night, three men armed with pangas and at least pretending to have guns, stormed into the casualty department (ER) at 2:30 a.m., made all the patients and staff lie on the floor after giving up their cell phones and shoes, and proceeded to ransack the place for money, forcing their way into the pharmacy where they stole over a thousand dollars worth of Kenya shillings. Which is a LOT of money here. Two people were hurt in the process, a patient who was cut on the head by a machete, and one of the hospital guards who was thoroughly beat up and is now in the ICU. Many more were traumatized and terrified.
Mercifully, we were obliviously asleep at home at the time, a couple hundred yards away. We did not learn of the incident until we encountered the shaken staff at chapel at 8 this morning. Our chief administrator led us from Habakkuk 2: the proud, the violent, the blood-shedders, will come to woe, when the glory of the Lord covers the earth, when all keep silence before Him.
Later we heard that the 5-year-old daughter of a Kenyan man who works in the welding/shop department at RVA was abducted from a church a couple miles' away on Sunday, picked up in the congenial chaos of Easter, and her body was found two days later, violated.
There is no softening or making sense of this kind of evil. These are incidents that cry out for justice, for God's reign on earth to be as clear as it is in the heavens. Such evil lurks in every community. The homey cottages, flowers, friendliness, common purpose, freedom of Kijabe might have lulled us into forgetting that we are still caught in the same broken human society that produces genocide and drug-abuse and child-trafficking and terrorism, from Nairobi to New York. And of course there are abundant evidences of less gruesome, but equally lethal evil today, as a 30-year-old mother dies of a rare brain infection, or a newborn succumbs to the debilitation of severe dehydration.
This is the real context of Easter--no bunnies or lilies, instead the shocking hubris of desperate men, the hate and terror that must be radically healed before our world is redeemed. Our hope lies not in minimizing or softening evil, but in overcoming it by love.