A couple of years ago I read a book titled ” Dancing While Standing Still”. Two weeks ago I order the new book by Richard Rohr ” Dancing with the Divine”. I understood for quite some time that my life is a dance. I dance with the God of creation, I dance with my wife, I dance with creation. Sometimes its slow, sometimes a very fast dance. Sometimes dancing with God’s creation is happy but today? It IS SAD.
I have written in for the past nine months about the amazing people and situations that Mary and I have had a chance to dance with. These are God’s people who live in the neighborhoods of Kinshasa. We are here to dance with these who are created just like we. These who live on the margins of society and in some of the poorest areas in the world. They live, they work, they laugh, and OH do they dance.They survive the diseases,the rain, no power, no water. They dance with the cruelty of life. Today we dance together in sadness.
On Monday Kinshasa erupted in violence. In response to the government not scheduling an election, and in response to the overwhelming belief that the President intends to continue his rule and not step down as mandated by the countries constitution, 1000s of people took to the streets in protest. The police and military responded with live ammunition. Reports are of between 40 and 100 already dead, buildings set on fire and total chaos.
Mary and I have been at home since Sunday. The various embassies have warned ” not to go on the streets”. We are safe, the other UMC missionaries and their families in Kinshasa are safe. We have food and water. Currently we have intermittent power and internet.
Mary and I wonder and worry about all of those that we know and have met in the neighborhoods. How are they coping? How have they been effected? When will it be safe for us to return to God’s people in Limete,Yo Lo Sud, Petro-Congo, Lingwala, Cemetrie. A short time ago these places, these people did not exist to us.Now we wonder? Now we worry. Now we mourn.
Information is that tomorrow and through the weekend the protests resume and the government opposition believes will continue until a new government is elected.
This feeling, this worry, overshadows everything else. Pray for the Congolese.
This weekend we dance to mourn the lost and a dance of sorrow. We dance for a better tomorrow.