It’s hard, very hard, to live in a country where murder has become so common place. And where guns are so freely available, and used to shoot people with such heartlessness! “Puppa Jesus tek de case”! An ejaculatory prayer of many older folks who trusted in the power and goodness of our Savior.
Yes, there are other problems, as this week torrential rain aided and abetted by poor drainage and people intent on ‘ duttying up Jamaica’, caused massive flooding in the, capital city of the West, and tourist mecca, Montego Bay.
This week also saw the continued saga of, The people vs The Government, being played out in the introduction of the National Identification Sytem ( NIDS).
With most in favor, but many unimpressed with the need to pass the bill right away! Especially as they see the possibility of fundamental rights being placed at risk.
But my God, how long shall we have to put up with these murderous gunmen, who fear neither God nor man. Men who have no heart. Men who pump bullets mercilessly into women and children. How long Lord? How long!
That’s the question residing deep in the hearts of our people. Not #NIDS. Not #Mobayflooding.
As our people are living in absolute terror. Afraid of every shadow. Afraid to sleep too soundly. Can’t sleep at all as the guns sometimes ‘bark’ for hours.
Where do they get all these high powered, ‘ bigger than police’, guns?
Where do they get so much ammunition? Are some police ‘ mixed up’ ? Are some politicians ‘ mixed up ‘ ? Are some businessmen ‘ mixed up’?
This madness cannot continue. No civilized country ought to tolerate this kind of brutality being unleashed on its people. Day after day. Night after night! What’s to be done?
Then I recalled thst in the wee hours of the morning this
week, the Lord woke me up to read this:
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord .
It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young…
For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.
The historical, and even existential challenge that has confronted civilizations ever since Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, is that:
“ Unless the Lord builds the house we labour in vain “, a Word ( Psalm 127) to which I was led to read and ponder in last night.
And so, intent on ‘ doing their own thing ‘, the great Roman and Greek civilizations perished; one, from which ashes, Europe and the West rose, got sacked by ‘ barbarians’. So too the famed British Empire on whose lands, the sun, ” would never set”, is now struggling to find a place in world affairs outside the orbit of the EU, The USA, Russia and China. The great Napolean, Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great, and pretty soon Apartheid South Africa, and racist Rhodesia, will only be names in a history book.
Unlike #FreeNelsonMandela who will live on in the hearts of millions forever.
The current Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the one in waiting Peter Phillips, would do well to reflect on history as they and their colleagues, seek to rescue Jamaica from marauding gunmen.
They ought not to be fooled by the ‘ shiny object ‘, that the lives of ‘ successful and developed ‘, countries portray. For really ‘ all that glitters is not gold’. For those who have eyes to see, understand that many of these countries are a ‘ time bomb ‘, ticking away, imploding, like a quiet storm. For history has taught us, that a nation, and leaders, without a moral foundation will fall one day.
That’s the lesson that Mugabe’s life teaches us. And so many others in the ‘ kleptocratic states’ of Africa!
That’s the lesson that’s emerging as the opioid addiction epidemic sweeps across the land of ‘ anything goes’, and the home of comfortable Christianity, which is what America is fast becoming. Thus sowing the seeds of its own destruction. And don’t forget to probe deeply into the highly touted Scandinavian countries where things appear to be perfect without any overwhelming presence of the God of Abraham. Where, in one country, God is no longer to be addressed as He, or She, but gender neutral. Really!
As a country we have for far too long flirted, with disastrous consequences, with ” isms and schisms”, as our Rastafarian brethren would say. With Democratic Socialism! With unbridled Capitalism! And now the political and economic, and even in some churches, Holy Grail is, ‘ Prosperity ‘. With ‘ Progress ‘, being consigned, for the time being, to subtext in the conversation.
But then the nagging historical reality confronts us once again; ” Except the Lord builds the house we build in vain.”
Have we really not learnt anything, as one by one our ‘idols’, like Ninjaman, and Kartel are jailed for murder. As one by one, people like Mutty Perkins, who became a veritable ‘ god ‘, for many Jamaicans, disappear, without a trace, like the proverbial grass, while the Word of God lasts forever.
As the hype associated with the lifestyle of scamming comes back to haunt us with a veritable explosion of murder and mayhem.
All because we have, in large part, as decision makers and shapers of our culture, appearing on Page Two or E-Prime, holding sway on social media or in Hotline, Beyond the Headlines and Nationwide , chosen Barabbas over Jesus. Even in the Church. Have mercy! The hype of being enlightened over the substance and only life giving and heart changing reality of the Cross of Christ.
So what’s to be done? The same question posed to Peter when he preached the first sermon after Pentecost when the Holy Spirit of God descended with Power on the Disciples of Christ, the Crucified One. ” What shall we do”?
And the same answer ought to come from the collective Church, following the example of the one to whom Jesus said: ” If you love me feed my sheep”.
“ Repent and be Baptised and save yourself from this corrupt generation”.
It is really time we ceased ‘ following Bustamante til we die’! Or Andrew! Or Peter! Or Kartel! Or Dudas! Or the latest ‘ flavor of the month’, in the media, in business or in entertainment industry. For we are dying off like flies – Gleaner headlines this morning:
Yes we must ‘ give to Ceasar what belongs to Caesar’, and pay our taxes ( and not keep two books); join together to improve parenting skills and not brutalize our children; advocate for better living conditions in inner cities and unplanned settlements; work to reduce teenage pregnancies and help to find jobs for our youth in particular; join up with people like Diana Macaulay ( retired after doing a really great job) in protecting the environment; do our part in helping to reduce crime and support the government’s crime plans #ZOSO; work with Civil Society Leaders like Carol Narcisse and the ‘ born again ‘ Dr. Trevor Munroe, to help mobilize the ordinary citizen to play his or role in the shaping a society.
But more importantly we must commit as a nation, and as individuals, to ‘ give to God what belongs to God; which essentially is our lives, our talents, our children ( the next generation) and the environment in which live and breath; all we have. And worship Him and give Him all the glory in and through Jesus Christ The Crucified One.
Otherwise we will continue to wake up with the kind of news the Gleaner headlines reports. Day after Day! And continue to lament. For we have not accepted and believed that, “The Eternal God is our ( only ) Refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms “.
And that the mercies of this God are new every morning. Just waiting for us to enjoy. Forever ! In and through Jesus Christ.