Dear America, you’re breaking my heart.
As many of you know, I have been living in Uganda on and off for the past 3 years. There have been good times and bad times but they all amount to something special. They both confirm the challenges that Christ promised us in his word. I can remember the smiles of children when they praise and rejoice in the Lord through dancing and singing. Their faces beam with joy and radiance truly displaying the characteristics of Christ. I can also remember the amount of hatred and violence when a man robbed a woman’s convenient store, when the mobs chased him down and murdered him by beheading him in the streets. I have seen that evil and I know that evil and it is an ancient evil that has come to seek, kill and destroy us.
When I first told people I was moving to Uganda to become a missionary and share the love of Christ with people they would always ask me, “Aren’t you scared?”, “Isn’t it really dangerous over there?”. I have seen many things in this country that could cause me to fall into fear, but none of that compares to what I am reading in news articles about what is happening in my home country. Today, for the first time I am scared and I am not scared of Uganda but I am afraid of the evil that is taking over America. The amount of hatred and racism that has been displayed is totally, 100% an act of the enemy. In Uganda I have never been afraid that I would be run over by a car and killed because I was professing my beliefs fighting for peace. I have never woken up with such a heavy pain on my heart like I have these past few days seeing posts on Facebook and reading about the dissension going on in America. Hatred and racism are evil, pure evil there is no love or grace in it, nothing. That kind of evil spreads like a disease and taints everything that it touches or has influence on and it is truly heartbreaking.
These events and attitudes pain my heart because that kind of evil is toxic and it pollutes the minds of the weak and sways people to violence and murder. America is a power country and we don’t realize how many eyes are watching us and how we act. When Trump was running for president, the Ugandans always knew more about it than I did. They would always ask me my political views and I would say “I don’t really have one I don’t pay attention to it when I am out here.” They would look at me confused and say “Well you should care because what happens to America affects us all; they are a country we look up to.” A country we look up to….
I love Uganda because it is beautiful and the people here love you no matter what, no matter your skin color, background or religion. They simply love. I used to think that Uganda was such a special place because it was untouched by racism and hate, but that evil and disease has spread to a country that I love. Recently Collin and I were driving in town at night with some of our friends, Beckie and Lawrence, taking them home after a fellowship. We were on a narrow road in town driving up a hill, playing music and just having fun. I looked out my window and noticed a woman grab her children in fear, Collin saw it too and we both didn’t understand what sacred her. Then a man in a white truck came speeding by us and almost hit them. Naturally Collin wanted to challenge this man and ask him why he was driving so dangerously. He parked at a shop in front of us so we pulled up next to him and I rolled down the window so Collin could speak to him.
The man was furious. He began shouting and yelling at us because we didn’t move and get out of his way. Collin insisted that you could not pass on a narrow road like that, especially when you are in town and there are people walking on the road at night. The roads are not lit here so that is not safe driving. He would not listen. In his mind we were completely in the wrong. The more we argued with him the more we came to realize that he was not in his right mind. He had an evil in his eye that was coming from his heart. “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile a man.” (Matthew 15:18). At that point Beckie and Lawrence suggested we just go to prevent anything from spinning out of control. So, we decided to just let the man be and as we pulled away he said something under his breath and it was something along the lines of “these stupid whites.” (It was much more serious than that but I do not need to repeat it.)
Being face to face with that man you could tell that there was something evil there, something evil had its hands on that mans life. Something evil is at work in America and whether you realize it or not, that evil is spreading and corrupting what is good. For about 2 weeks there has been a question playing over and over in my mind. “What is the condition of your heart?” I have asked myself this question many times, in many different seasons in my life, but this time it felt different, I didn’t really have an answer. I wasn’t really sure why, but after witnessing the encounter with that man, and the events taking place in Charlottesville, I have come to realize that the question wasn’t for me. The question is for you America…..what is the condition of your heart? We have spent so much time and effort creating a divide not only with racism but also with homosexuality, feminism and religion. We are all one family; we are all brothers and sisters unified with Christ whether we believe it or not. Somewhere in our journey to discover ourselves we have lost sight of that, we have lost sight of who we are and who God created us to be.
Collin and I spent the morning reading about Charlottesville and all the events that are going on there wondering how does this make God feel? I said how broken his heart must be over this. How much pain is he experiencing on our behalf? And Collin said well if we feel the pain and grief of these events and we are in Uganda and we are human, then he feels it immeasurably and his heart is truly breaking for his people. I don’t normally touch on racism or hatred going on in America but this time I felt the Holy Spirit beckoning me to say something. More eyes are on you than you think America, and you have the opportunity to show humility, love, grace and peace, or hatred, racism, bigotry and violence, the choice is up to you. “Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23. My prayer for you America is that you would ask yourself the question, “What is the condition of your heart?”, and when you get the answer I pray that you would be open to the journey that God is going to take you on. Step it up America, eyes are on you.
A heartbroken Muzungu in Uganda, praying for the day that God’s glory is revealed through you.