Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Prayer For Africa

O Mother Africa, womb of the world! How long must you suffer? How long must you weep? Is there any hope for you, or have your western children, etiolated in skin and spirit, wrought on you too many atrocities to ever be made right?

The dark continent lives in the hearts of my family – my father trying to feed its people, my mother to alleviate the physical suffering of the children, my brother to cure their diseases – and the next question is: what about you, Anna? What will you do? In a world where little children die in their thousands from hunger and sickness, conditions we their oppressors could eradicate in a heartbeat if for even one moment we prioritized the lives of other human beings over our own profit: what will you do, Anna, just another affluent white westerner purchasing your luxuries with the blood of Mother Africa's people?

This week, we commemorate the deliverance of my people from slavery and oppression by the grace of God and the death of the Passover lamb; this week, we commemorate the deliverance of all people from slavery of the heart by the grace of God and the death of God's own Lamb. But the plight of Africa is still very real and present. There has been no deliverance in this life for Africa.

My prep school headmaster once said that Jesus could be considered an African: o Lord, you know from paying in blood for the lives of others, and I pray for the land of your childhood and mine, the cradle of humanity, the heart of this broken world. God, have mercy; humanity, have mercy.

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