18 January 2005

Hotel Rwanda

I mentioned Brad and Jennifer's separation today and was asked if I was absolutely depressed about the news. I said that I think we pay far too much attention to celebrity marriages anyway. So, yes, I was shocked but not depressed.

Later in the conversation I mentioned I was going to see the film Hotel Rwanda tonight. Wearing a look of disdain my friend replied that she would read about Rwanda in The Economist, a fascinating British mag that does decent coverage of the world. I read it, she reads it and most of us read it to get a view of the world while we sip our tall caramel apple ciders from the neighborhood coffee shop conglomerate. We usually feel good after reading it. We feel worldly and aware and well rounded.

I'm sorry she was depressed about Bradifer moving to Splitsville. I'm glad she reads about Rwanda.

I, too, am depressed now. And I, too, want to read about Rwanda.

I saw the film, and wish I had read more about Rwanda in 1994. I wish I had not only read about Rwanda, but I wish that I had seen images of Rwanda. And I wish they had disturbed me then even more than the staged production disturbs me tonight. I wish I had written letters, made phone calls, demanded intervention and freedom for a people being slaughtered and terrorized because of a power God abhors: hatred. I wish that I would react to today's "Rwandas." I wish that my response, my phone calls, my demands would make a difference and would motivate the western world to demand freedom and end terrorism. I mean, that's our thing isn't it? That's what we're all about, right? That's what we're doing in Iraq, after all. The United States and other countries care about people, care to end terror, care to assist in freedom. Don't we? Isn't that what we've been told?

Or maybe the senseless slaughter matters most when the dying live on continents not called Africa and when their flesh more closely resembles the so-called nude crayon in the box. Or maybe the senseless slaughter matters most when we might receive something in return for our efforts. Or maybe the senseless slaughter matters most when it happens to our own people on our own soil. Or maybe senseless slaughter matters most when it won't harm the chances for our representatives, our senators or our presidents to be re-elected.

Or maybe even then it doesn't really matter at all. As long as we still have the freedom to sip our venti nonfat skinny lattes, no whip, while reading about J. Lo's latest beau in Us Weekly . . . maybe that is what really matters.

I am depressed. I won't stay here. Depression is static. Hope has wings. So I will pray to find a way to do more than read about Rwanda. Or watch a film about Rwanda. I want to walk through Rwanda with its people and not desert them again.

1 comment:

LARouse said...

Beautiful. . .thank you