I watched the film Blood Diamond the other day. It’s set during the Sierra Lione civil war and shows a country torn apart by war. The destruction, pain and hurt caused by the war made me think about South Sudan. Again. And there’s a quote from the film, said by Danny Archer, which has really stuck with me:
‘Sometimes I wonder, will God ever forgive us for what we’ve done to each other? Then I look around and I realise… God left this place a long time ago.’
I follow the news of what’s coming out of South Sudan and I can’t help but find myself agreeing with Danny. I hear about the UN compound in Bor being stormed by angry youth, leaving more than 58 dead. Aid workers, children, mothers, and those seeking refuge. I read about hundreds being massacred when Bentiu was taken over by the rebels. Again. Mosques, churches and hospitals where so many sheltered for protection, being fired at or set alight. People killed because their ethnicity entangles them into this web of destruction. And I watch clips like this
And I wonder where God is in it all? I wonder whatever has South Sudan done that God should turn His face from the suffering and pain? I wonder how long will God forsake His people?
And I can’t answer my questions. I can’t argue with Danny Archer. I find myself thinking that maybe God did indeed leave this place a long time ago.
But I cling onto Psalm 13. I cling onto it and I do my very best to declare the good God has done, despite it all. I will not be overcome with despair and confusion. I will not believe the lies being whispered into my ears. And I will not speak those lies over South Sudan.
‘How long Lord? Will you forget them forever?
How long will you hide your face from them?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will the enemy triumph over them?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death
and the enemy will say ‘I have overcome her,’
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
My heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.’