Death is a part of life. We all know at some point, at a God directed point, our lungs will no longer be filled with air and our heart will stop beating.
All of us learned this lesson because of the lose of someone we loved. Maybe a grandparent, a parent, or even a child; never the less it hurts. It is like wound that only heals half way. Every now and then it feels fresh and just as painful as day one. Then there are other days when you can go on with life and hardly notice the pain.
If we all know this, then death should not come a huge surprise, right?! Maybe for some but for the ones living in Africa it is daily surprise. Let me tell you how I have come to this mathematical equation.....
Africa+Death=Daily Life The West+Death=Seasons of Life
In the West you have numerous many ways to prolong life, no matter the quality it maybe. Life is still life. Air in the lungs still and the heart still beats. So when death does come it is not out of the blue (in most cases. I know there are times it is out of the blue.) Here in Africa it is more often then not, out of the blue! Just these last two months I have learned that. In two months I have know of two people (one very dear to me) who's lungs were drained of air and heart that just stopped cold.
One of these dear souls was a friend of mine in Kenya. He worked for a missionary and was beaten to death near the home he worked in. The details are still fuzzy for me but all I know is that he was living and breathing one moment and then he struggled for breath as he was beaten and then air forever left his lungs.
The second was a brother of one of the boda boda guys I have become friends with. Q is always read to pick me and take me where I need to go. Always full of smiles and jokes. The other day I was told by my neighbor that Q's bother died. He was killed in "mob justice." Here in Africa that still happens. People are upset and they take matters into their own hands. Because of their anger and lack of self-control my friend's bother..his heart stopped beating.
Are these stories normal in The West? No, I don't think so. No, I know so! My heart grieves for any life lost. For someone that has been ill for years, for the young woman who is seen as "used" in the eyes of her traffickers, for the man walking to work and beaten for being at the wrong place at the wrong time; my heart aches!
Sadly, living in Africa means my heart is aching all the time. Death is daily. As painful as it is...it is proof. Proof the Word of God is needed more now then ever! How could I hold my tongue from sharing the eternal gift of life that comes form the lover and maker of our souls? That is why I am here! I can't be silent! Can you?