I’m Trying Not To Think About Africa

I don’t want to think about Africa.

My schedule is full, from work to family activities to church and everything in between. My prayers are full of pleas to God to kill my pride, to bless my family, to strengthen my faith. I have plenty to think about.

Africa is not something I want to worry about.

After a nice cup of coffee, I pray at my tidy icon corner for peace from the stress of coming day as my family sleeps soundly. I eagerly await the brand new icons I ordered and have their spots planned out.

Meanwhile in Africa, Christians are being murdered for their faith. Martyrs are being made daily by a death cult intent on erasing Christian history from the face of the earth.

My first big decision of the day is usually which flavor oatmeal I’ll have for breakfast, or whether I’ll skip it entirely and grab fast food on the way to work.

Children in Africa often do not have clean water to drink. They are susceptible to diseases my country wiped out generations ago. And yet they are eager to bow before Christ and receive the Eucharist, even with death just over the next hill, or coming with the next sunrise.

Our church helps fund a medical clinic in northern Uganda, and when our priest asks us to pray for them it is hard to put myself in their shoes, because I am not strong enough to walk in them.

Our presidential elections are a circus sideshow. Their priest pleas with us to pray that their elections will not descend into bloodshed. Our health concerns are obesity. Theirs are famine and lack of even the most basic health care.

It’s hard enough to look past my own needs and cares. It’s doubly hard to imagine what they are going through.

As Great Lent approaches we work to increase our prayerfulness and our giving. I know that I will need God’s help to do both. I pray that I can be truly thankful for my ease and comfort, and that I am here instead of with my suffering brethren in Africa.

Because I don’t want to think about it.