Fear No Evil

I listened to the Rwandan widow share her testimony. It was brutal. Horrific. Darkness stood behind me and whispered, “Who are you to hear her pain? What can you do to help?”

We visit a Genocide memorial. I am walking with a new friend, hand in hand. I ask— doesn’t reliving her story continue her pain? How will her wounds heal? My friend replied— no, each time she shares her story, she releases pain from her heart. It is a process of letting go.

Indeed, from that moment on, each of us who sat in her home and heard her story carried a part of the widow’s heart in ours. We lift her pain to the Ultimate Healer who can transcend space and time.

The walk with my Rwandan friend, taboo for American girls to walk hand in hand. Yet the perfect picture— we were created to be side by side. Often taught to hide our pain to overcome hurt rather than releasing. Wounds fester rather than heal. I pray you find a trustworthy soul to release your pain.

Inside the genocide memorial, another new friend shares his testimony of survival. I have heard the story secondhand. I am braced for the chilling details. We stand in the place where his family was slaughtered. This place where he waited in silence under lifeless bodies— he is frozen in time but the horror around him does not end. As if their brutality was not enough— they return to eradicate survivors solely based on the shade of their skin.

I ask my friend why he did not surrender. Why not make himself known— join his family where the pain would end. He gently replied, “Then evil would win.”

Would I have fought or thrown in the towel? I know my hands would have been in the air, relenting to evil without a fight. My white palms would raise like white flags. Surrendered to evil—closed the book of life with my own hand. Instead, His sovereign hand is a bookmark where history… His story begins.

This memory has become truth I wield like a sword to the enemy. I cannot give up the fight. I cannot allow darkness to win, to conquer my heart and mind.

Our stories must continue. Fear has the face of a lion but the fight of a lamb. Side by side, hand in hand, we must walk through life united rather than untied. Disconnected. Isolated. Evil preys upon it’s victim when alone.

This prose poem is dedicated to my friends in Rwanda who are in isolation during Kwibuka. A time they typically come together to comfort one another. This year, they lean into their faith and do their best to acknowledge and remember those who tragically are gone. May this evil never happen again. Anytime. Anywhere.

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