Happy Tuesday, all.
It’s a blogging day for me, and I have lots to talk about… Yesterday was my birthday, and I could easily wax poetic about the myriad of emotions that accompany the ever-growing realization that I am only getting older and older and older. Or I’d love to chat about something a friend and artist (a film-maker) said to me this weekend: “I have such high hopes for every shot, and so far each one has exceeded my expectations.” Wow. I’d love to pick apart that sort of unflinching optimism about life and art. Or I could post about my upcoming release, my amazing to-be-read pile, or the seasons of friendship — all things that occupy my thoughts these days. But I can’t seem to form a coherent thought.
Today is an important day in a country I love. It’s election day in Liberia. This is only the second democratic election that has occurred since the end of a bloody, brutal 14-year civil war that ravaged the country and killed (at best guess) 220,000 people. During this horrific war, children were brainwashed and forced to join warlords. They raped, tortured, and even cannibalized. Families were ripped apart. Countless refugees fled to neighboring countries and are still, to this day, finding their way back home.
I could tell you all about Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia’s current president) and her recent Nobel Peace Prize. And Winston Tubman, her main challenger. We could discuss the upsweep in ritual killings and cannibalism around election season, or the accusation of bought votes.
But I don’t want to talk about any of that.
I have babies in Liberia. 56 of them to be exact, but the number is always fluctuating — and it only grows. They are bright, beautiful, precious children with a disarming capacity to love in spite of circumstances that sometimes sound more like the script of a horror flick than a life story. They are hopeful for a better future, and their ability to forgive puts me to shame. Every Sunday they worship God with people who were likely on the opposite end of a gun only fourteen years before. My mind cannot comprehend, and my heart falters at the thought…
I’m praying for peace today. For a fair, civil election that does not erupt in violence on any scale. I’m praying for Princess and Robert and Quessay and Amos and Emmanuel and Lucia and Tamba and Precious and Benjamin and Victoria and all the rest by name. I wish I could hold them, but in lieu of wrapping my arms around them, I’ll blanket them in prayers. Will you join me?
If you’d like to learn more about One Body, One Hope, our non-profit organization, feel free to email me or click on the link above. It’ll take you to our blog… It’s in desperate need of some updating, but we have no budget for media. 100% of our donations go directly to the kids and redevelopment projects, and our board covers overhead out of our own pockets. So, forgive the unfabulous site. We’re more interested in relationship anyway…