During my morning jog yesterday (by the way that is an anomaly at the moment, not a habit); I stopped outside our local cathedral to chat with two Catholic Sisters leaving mass. I knew these Sisters quite well, so we greeted in an embrace and chatted for a while.
One of the Sisters recounted to me how she had witnessed a disturbing ‘mob killing’ a couple of days before outside one of the main markets in town. She watched a man fall from his motorcycle and initially went to see if he needed any medical assistant. Quickly, someone yelled ‘thief’, a mob gathered and killed the man. The Sister told me how she had tried to intervene but to no avail. She was pushed away and told to leave. She told me how she spoke to the crowd and questioned how could many of them call themselves Christians. Sister said that they replied they would go to ‘confession’. Sister was disgusted with this reply, and as she finished recounting this story she began a lament for Uganda: for justice and local people. ‘This could happen to anyone, you just yell out thief and… where is our country going?’
Later yesterday afternoon I mentioned this story to one of our regular local bodas. Of course he had heard of what happened, he hears of everything related to bodas! His version of the story was slightly different. The same events, the same outcome, but shared some of the back story. A father and son had had an argument and the son went off on his father’s motorbike. The father had alerted the local boda stage to look out for his son and his bike, and to let him know if he saw him. The rest of the events match Sister’s story; however he wasn’t a thief, he was an angry son. The burial was yesterday.
Sister’s lament and words ring in my mind. He was innocent…
Recently in our house group we have been talking about praying for ‘big things’. I haven’t been praying about ‘big things’ for Uganda very often; more ‘little things’. Sometimes corruption, injustice and mob justice seems just too big to pray for. How does one pray for things that are ingrained in a culture? And when you see it every day, sadly I become numbed by its regularity.
I want to join the Sister with her lament for Uganda… a lament which will include a prayer for ‘big things!’