There are some stories that everyone needs to know about. The book "Left to Tell" is one of those. It is the true story of a Rwandan holocaust survivor. If you don't know about the holocaust, you should. Everyone should.
In her book, Immaculee tells how she survived a genocide that killed 800,000 of her people in 100 days. She was no different from us. She was starting college and had a boyfriend the same time I did. She loved life, her family and her beautiful country. In 100 days, she was robbed of all of that.
What makes the story so amazing was her ability to come out on top. She clung to her faith throughout the entire nightmare and was blessed because of it. For three months she hid in a closet sized bathroom with 7 other women and she prayed. "I found a place in the bathroom to call my own: a small corner of my heart. I retreated there as soon as I awoke, and stayed there until I slept. It was my sacred garden, where I spoke with God, meditated on His words, and nurtured my spiritual self." I learned from her that when things get difficult, and even when they don't, I need to find a place to call my own and speak with God. As we do this, there is nothing that we can't endure.
During these months of praying she developed a bond with God and knew that she was a daughter of a King. "I lifted my heart to the Lord, and He filled it with His love and forgiveness. Being in that bathroom had become a blessing for which I'd be forever thankful. Even if my parents had perished in the bloodshed outside, I would never be an orphan. I'd been born again in the bathroom and was now the loving daughter of God, my Father."
When she was finally able to return to her home, knowing that the murderers were gone, she struggled to forgive the killers. "Seeing my home in ruins and visiting the lonely, forgotten graves of my loved ones had choked the life out of my forgiving spirit...My heart hungered for revenge, and I raged inside myself." She recognized how miserable these feelings were making her and knew she had to once again turn to God. "Take this pain from me and cleanse my heart" she prayed. "A sudden rush of air flooded my lungs. I heaved a heavy sigh of relief, and my head dropped back on the pillow. I was at peace."
She has since used her life to help those who still suffer from the killings and to share her message of faith, forgiveness and hope. Truly she was "Left to Tell" so the rest of us can learn from her. If you want to hear her tell a very shortened version of the story go to http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/11/30/.
I don't even begin to understand how Satan can get such a strong hold of people. But he can. I also don't understand why I live in a place so sheltered from the sorrows most of the world have to endure. But I do. I can't even begin to grasp the sorrow that is felt in this world. It is so scary to know that the things that happened in Rwanda while I was in college are probably happening somewhere else right now. We won't know about it until those who are "left to tell" decide to share their stories with us. My friend Sarah told me about a show called "On Our Watch". It makes it clear how serious these issues are. Here's the link if you are interested. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darfur/
There is so much I can't understand but there is one thing that I do know. "Where much is given, of him shall be much required (Luke 12:48)." There are things we can do.