Skip to main content

The Answerer

After my previous post The Mystery of the Number "9" in 2009, one reader at another magazine site where the article was published responded thus: "Interesting, but totally miserable!... I do not see how the world could get worse than it already is... That means we will have a worse Dafur, a worse Kenyan drought/politicians, a worse American foreign policy?" Now, obviously this dear reader, while overlooking the overall motif of hope that I present, brushed against what I may call the "prophetic" aspects of the article. I have stated in an earlier piece on this blog that I am an optimist. However, I am not one to be sold on utopian ideas of a perfecct society that is ever progressing or on a cheap salvation. I am more of an optimistic realist, one who believes in the possibilities of a better society, if, and only when, the human society, individually and collectively, is willing to grapple with the realities of its own fall. An optimism (freedom) that is guided by the accompanying and absoluteley necessary sense of responsibility. I gather that it is this call to responsibility that the reader struggles with. The fact that for us to hope for a better 2009 and beyond, we must equally rise to the challenge of responsible decision making, starting with wanting to change internally. Sadly, the overwhelming historical evidence suggests that as humanity, we are largely averse to this call. It is easy for us to pass on our responsibility to government, to the church, to our employers, or to institutions and to demand that they think ans act a certain way and yet refuse to alter our own way of thinking and acting. More tragically, it is easy for us to play the blame game, all the while wallow in our misery with no initiative to get up. And so we blame God, we blame government, the American foreign policy, or the other tribe/race. Now, God forbid that we should have a worsening Darfur or another Rwanda-like situation anywhere in the world as my reader fears. But doesn't it strike you as being strange that only fifty years after the atrocities of Awchwitz, the incredible outcry and regrets that followed, and the declarations of "Never Again," that we had a Rwanda situation play openly on our hands with few, if any, flinching? What went wrong with the collective desire for change that remains? Fast-forward that to today. Here we are again in 2009. The tragedy that has unfolded, besides Darfur, on the economic front. What guarantee do we have that we shall not repeat the same mistakes again? How can we hope for better leadership when we have corrupted the fundamental values and allowed moral decline in leadership institutions? True we are inaugurating a new American President this coming Tuesday in an atmosphere of great historical significance. As a Kenyan-American, I feel proud of Barack Obama's achievements. But aren't we expecting too much if while refusing to own up to our own short-comings and our defiance against God we expect a quick fix? Or since my reader refers to Kenyan political leaders, isn't it strange that these very leaders were not long ago crying for change and vying for "opportunity to change how things are done for the better" of their country? How come after they came to power that 1500 people died through political violence instigated by their power greed, the worst ever political situation in Kenya's 45 year history as an independent nation? Isn't it clear that part of our problem is attributing too much innocence and goodness to those who are "delivered from evil?" Isn’t it clear that the sources of evil and human suffering are not always “out there” but so many times “in here?” I have stated in the earlier article that genuine followers of Jesus Christ have nothing to worry about or fear regarding the prospects in 2009. It is not that we won't be faced with the common challenges as everyone else. It is that Jesus Christ Himself walks with us in the midst of the problems and gives us a different perspective. When we individually and collectively bow before the crowned Man, Jesus Christ, He takes on the role of Answerer to all of our life's challenges. As consequence, led by love, God’s primary attribute, and not by power alone, our default attribute as humanity, we are better positioned to effect change in society. The change for which faith hopes, which it believes possible, cannot be effected through power, might, majesty, dominion, and the like, but through love. This is the key to societal transformation entailing a future free of repeat Darfurs and Rwanda’s or an American foreign policy that opresses rather than lifts up the down-trodden. Ultmately it is not just the actual practices of the rich nations of the world or the political class in poor nations. It is the spirit which incites these practices and sustains them; it is the goals, the values, the anxieties, and the bogus hopes which make such practices seem necessary or natural. The invisible, intangible, spiritual core of human society must be altered if what is visibly and tangibly wrong in the world is to be altered significantly. But this monumental transformation is only possible when, in humility, we invite the Answerer to help us.


Popular posts from this blog

No Room in the Inn...21st Century Version

It is the Christmas season 2009.  Like Joseph and Mary 2000 years ago, a young couple are on the virge of the birth of their first baby boy.  Although they are doing everything to prepare for the big day, it still catches them by surprise.  Instead of the regular 40 weeks, the baby is arriving six weeks early. Because they are not expecting it this early, their bags are not packed nor is the nursery fully furnished.  Safe for an early morning warning in a dream to the father to prepare to be in a delivery room and with assurance (from the Lord) that it would be o.k, the day started off as any other day. At 6:00 AM, the couple prays together for about 40 minutes in their home in Victoria.  They take showers.  At about 7:30 AM, the husband goes to work briefly from his home office while the wife prepares something for their breakfast together. Within a couple hours they will have a routine prenatal doctor's appointment.  Later in the evening the wife's sister and her two beau

The Other Frontline in the Battle for Souls- By Suzanne Wanyonyi

I've learned quite a bit while Sammy's been away in India. Other wives have told me over the years, that when their husbands are gone for ministry for extended periods of time, the enemy tries to attack during the husband's absence by causing the garage door to break, or the toilets to break or the hot water heater to go out. So, from the very beginning of our marriage I anticipated those things and shared my concern about them with Sammy. He understood. We've always had a plan in case something breaks around the house while he's away. Well, none of those things have ever happened. Other things have happened.  During this latest mission, while nearly 80,000 people were being won to Christ, the attack came in a way I wasn't expecting: The kids. There were more than a few nights where I had about 2 hours of sleep because the kids kept waking up. With Malaika it's not so uncommon, but Junior has slept from 8-8 for as long as I can remember. He'

Malawi Day 6- Breakthrough At Last as Hundreds Respond in Lilongwe!

Sammy Wanyonyi gives the evangelistic message in Lilongwe, Malawi on Sunday evening. Finally, God crowned our efforts with breakthrough as several thousands of people flocked onto the local soccer field in Area 25 of Malawi's Capital Lilongwe, to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Several hundreds responded to the call of Salvation. Now we are praying and looking forward to a great harvest of souls on the closing night of the Festival here tomorrow, Wednesday night.  Until then, it had been a tough week, to say the least.  On the openning night of the events last Wednesday September 1st, it felt frustrating.  The rally was scheduled to start too late in the night.  The sun sets by 6:00 PM here.  But the events started around 7:30 PM.  In a country where power is unreliable, it was not surprising that half-way through the program we lost power.  The few hundred people that had gathered began to scatter in the dark.  By the time my friend Nick Hall got up to speak, we barely ha