Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Holy Week

It's Holy Week.  We are back in the States.  It's tougher than you might think coming back--much harder than adjusting to being in TZ.  When we come back here, to our native culture, we expect to fit in.  But we find that we don't.  We have changed.  America has gotten perhaps a bit more crazy.  A short anecdote that exemplifies the cognitive dissonance we experience:

Carnival Cruise Lines recently had a ship full of reveling Americans lose power and have to be towed into port.  For a few days, cocktails were not properly cooled and food was not properly hot.  People may have gotten sick.  There were surely other inconveniences.  But I'm pretty sure no one died.  I'm not saying that these people did not have a bummer of a vacation.  They should get their money back and even a free upgraded cruise in the future.  But apparently many of them are suing Carnival for the hardship!  I'll quote a friend's comment on this: "What a first world problem.  'Oh no!  My giant party boat broke down.  What a disaster!'"  I see mini versions of this discordant reality every day, and I find it disconcerting.

To counter that pathetic story, I have a better one I wish I could tell you, but I think I had better not.  It was one of the most memorable moments of my life.  But it took place in South Sudan and I  shouldn't put the details of it on the internet.  Those of you who know me have possibly heard me tell the story.  I won't relate it here, but perhaps I can give you something even better:

The man who is at the nexus of that story--who made a statement that shattered my understanding of what is at stake in the world--will be on 60 minutes this Sunday (Easter) evening on CBS.  His name is Abraham Nhial.  He was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.  He is now a Bishop of the Anglican Church in South Sudan.  His story is absolutely incredible.  Don't miss him.  You can find out a little bit here: Abraham Nhial on You Tube, and here is a website and book about his story: Lost Boy No More.  He tells his story much better than I can.

We live in two worlds, but they're the same world.  On one side a giant party stalls, and it's considered a disaster.  On the other side, unimaginable suffering and evil on a vast scale is commonplace--it can't even be put into words.  It's tough to digest.


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