I have been bracing myself to write this post, and I am still not ready, but it has to be done.
Westgate was like a horror movie, only real. I remember sitting at home that Saturday when the news broke and thinking it was going to be a robbery and the police would charge in there and arrest the culprits and it would all be over. I also remember when the situation kept escalating before my very eyes. What I thought was a simple robbery turned out to be a grand-scale terrorist attack, and the more it dragged on and night started to fall, the more horrific the realization became.
I started frantically praying when I realized some of my friends’ loved ones were in there. I called my family and some friends to make sure they were OK. I watched the news, speculated, prayed, worried and rejoiced when I heard my friends’ relatives got out OK.
As the days dragged on, I imagined all sorts of positive things, that all the hostages had gotten out, that the terrorists had either been killed or escaped and that this was all going to come to a positive end. I avoided social media and the news for a while because whenever I watched the news or heard any reports, my spirits would sink and I could not pray.
When I came out of my self-imposed exile, I found the speculation and heated questions had grown. Everyone was questioning the government, and with good reason. Reports released were vague and ambiguous, and more so, unbelievable.
What really happened at Westgate? Who was behind the massacre and destruction? What does our Government know? What aren’t they telling us? Where are the missing people? Can we trust our security forces to protect us? Is our country safe from any attack?
Those last three questions are what have really haunted me. My realization through all this was that no one can protect me, only God can. The security guard who checks my bag when I walk into a mall can be shot dead instantly by anyone carrying a firearm. CCTV cameras can be disabled immediately a gangster walks into a “secured” building. My building could go up in flames with me inside, and no man can protect me from that; only God can.
If I died today, I am assured of eternity. Through this whole tragedy, this one thought gave me comfort. I know I have eternity in Christ. There is no fear of death. I fear dying, I’ll admit, but not the after.
I am more aware of this fact now than ever before, and also more aware that there are many among us who cannot say the same. I challenge myself and I challenge you: love someone today enough to share the good news of eternity with them. It may be their one and only chance in this fragile life we live.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
~ Matthew 10:28