April 7th marked the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda. This is a solemn time …a day when the world stops to remember the atrocities that occurred 26 years ago in 1994.
April 7th also began the national mourning period in Rwanda, during which time the country focuses on the Genocide against the Tutsi until July 4th, or Liberation Day.
Some in Rwanda believe this to be an important time of reflection, a time to insure something so horrific never happens again. But for many of the women we employ, this can be an emotionally and psychologically difficult season.
A season of darkness.
Of being cut off.
A season of being left alone with the memories.
Then you add a world-wide pandemic into the mix, which forces the ladies to remain indoors, locked away.
And all of the fear and uncertainty of those dark months in 1994 comes flooding back.
I can’t help seeing a connection between this season and the dark days between the crucifixion and resurrection.
The sense of promises not kept.
For so many of us, nothing this year is the way it is supposed to be. We are unable to worship corporally with our church families. We, too, are sequestered in our homes (though, arguably, under better circumstances).
We are inundated with newscasts and updates on death tolls, and sickness and hopelessness.
It just doesn’t feel like it’s getting better.
Does it remind you, perhaps in some small way, of the crucifixion?
I find myself thinking of that day, as Jesus hung on Calvary. As he cried out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
The God - who created heaven and earth, who taught us to love one another perfectly – even He, in human form, felt overwhelmed…uncertain.
His is a question so many of us ask during this time…
The answer – for us and for our brothers and sisters in Rwanda – is found on Easter Sunday.
It’s found in the resurrection.
It’s on that miraculous day that Jesus liberates each of us with the impossible notion that no one and nothing – not even death itself – can separate us from the love of God.
And so, as we walk through this season of darkness here…
And as our brothers and sisters in Rwanda walk through the shadow of the memorial period …
As we prepare for an Easter like no other…
I pray that Sunday finds you joy-filled regardless of where or with whom you worship. I pray that you rest in the promise Jesus fulfilled on the day of the resurrection and continues to fulfill each day after.
Darkness will come.
But so will the light of God’s promise.