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Jesus Is A Kenyan


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I've seen people post transcipts from Facebook fundy's and various other correspondence but I never thought I would receive something similar.


Below is a letter sent to me by my wife's employer, an ultra-conservative fundy. He is a psychiatrist/psychologist who possesses a juris doctorate and is a licensed MD,............. a fairly educated man. The letter was written by the employers son who I'm assuming is doing mission work in Kenya. My wifes employer also frequently sends me urban legends (to be debunked) and conservative tripe that circulates among his like minded friends.


It just never ceases to amaze me how myopic the religious are and in this case how someone whose profession involves the mechanics of the mind buys into religion at all. It's just utterly fascinating.


Of course a zillion different responses ran through my head but I settled on saying that I've always thought religion is an intriguing topic and how the commonplace dulls our senses (referring to the Kenyan guides indifference to the event).


I'm sitting here at the keyboard searching for words, but they're scarce.


My mind is still trying to process, trying to scan my life experience for some point of reference...for some place I can compare to the scene that filled my eyes on this first day in Kenya.


I've seen squalor before. I've seen abject poverty. I've even seen smiles of relative happiness in the midst of that same poverty.


But I've never seen a man driven through the streets by a frenzied mob. Men, women and children surrounded him, and other curious onlookers followed close behind.


Two tires had been slung around the man's neck, and his clothes doused with gasoline.


Another man followed not twenty feet behind, holding a flaming piece of paper in his hand, as he prepared to inflict the penalty for stealing in a Nairobi slum...death by burning.


Most in our group were unaware of the mob, let alone its intentions. But I was lagging behind with one of the Kenyans who was accompanying us, and in matter-of-fact tones, she explained the scene that had just passed by.


Stealing is dealt with harshly and immediately in the slums, which serves as a persuasive deterrent in a community otherwise difficult to police. And as it turns out, burning isn't the only punishment used on thieves in the slums. Beheadings and fatal beatings are also options that are often used.


I wanted to look back at the mob, and I did, more than once...helplessly curious to know the man's final fate. What I saw instead was a young Kenyan man from our group, emerging from the melee as it continued the opposite way down the street. He hurried back towards us and came alongside me with a solemn expression.


I did my best to be nonchalant, still trying to fathom what my eyes had just seen.


"Mob justice, eh?" I mumbled, or something equally tactless.


His reply pierced my core, particularly since it was the first time I had heard Jesus actually speak.


"I tried to tell them," he said with frustration. "I told them that they should look at themselves first. They should not be doing this thing. It's easier to see the speck of dust in someone else's eye."


Let me just tell you folks, Jesus walks among us daily, and he talks among us too. But our eyes don't often see, and our ears don't often hear.


I sit here recalling the events of mere hours ago, and my insecurities surface immediately. It's only the first day in country, and I already feel like a coward among the courageous. The people here readily work in the lion's den, all for the sake of Christ's message of love and grace.


So often, I'm all too busy intellectualizing my faith with theological discussion and abstract debate. Meanwhile, this young, 20-something Kenyan just stepped into the midst of a furious throng, mere moments from bloodshed. And he did so emboldened by heavenly Truth, despite the earthly odds.


I'll never know the fate of that man being paraded down the street by that mob, but I can certainly take a guess.


The one thing I do know is that I saw Jesus today. I heard him speak as well. And as always, I've been humbled by his actions and inspired by his Words. And I'm left shaking my head in humble awe and wondering what mobs of my own I may need to confront, despite the earthly odds.

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How touching. Too bad "Jesus" didn't use his power to actually intervene and save the poor man's life instead of mumbling platitudes and excuses.


I really have little patience with Christians or their peculiar attitudes anymore.

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This is a completely different culture and we shouldn't expect to understand it. The guy said himself it can't be policed, so this is how the community polices itself, as violent as it may be. I can't believe they'd send inexperienced, naive americans over there like that, it's religious abuse.

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