The 21st of Spetember. Many will remember where they were on this fated day. I was at church having a conversation with a friend concerning an event we were about to take part in. I got a call from my sister at the time of the siege – she was asking where i was. Westgate was being robbed…or so we thought. The 21st of September was the day the dreaded Al-Shabaab chose as the day on which to attack at Westgate Mall in Westlands. I’ve been there. It was surreal. It was shocking. My belief in this narrative i was now hearing was suspended.
Today is the third of October; 12 days after the attack and still we mourn. Yesterday was the day of national prayer as held every year here in Kenya and still we mourned long after the official days of national mourning were over. Somehow this event touches home more than any other story. This is a place i have frequented. My friend posted on Facebook how she was hiding under a table as gunshots and explosions rent the air. I could have been there that day.
Even as we mourn, many questions are being asked. Some questions are either being asked too soon to reach a logical conclusion, or too late to make amends: personal questions, theological questions, all manner of questions. What remains certain is that grief and suffering cannot be handled artificially; as though after the official days of mourning we would all go about our business as though we were ‘over it’ already.
When the dust settles whenever that may be we will need to ask ourselves some very important questions such as: what happened to our security apparatus, why do we suffer and grieve more when the victims are more like us and much less like ‘the other’, where was God in this, many questions indeed and i am yet to even scratch the surface.
We shall all have to ask the hard questions and seek the right answers. I choose to trust in Jesus Christ the sovereign Lord of all, the prince of peace, our ultimate comforter. Even in these times he is far from absent. He is there and he is not silent. HE will comfort and hold up the broken hearted as he always has.
Peace will come, comfort will come. That time will come, when it may and we will find that we were never alone even in this grief and suffering but for now, we rightly mourn because it is indeed, a time to mourn.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace,”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (N.I.V)