My Christmas Wish

This Christmas season has been such a merry one for me.  I have been at peace here, and we have been so blessed that I have just felt wrapped in love.  My children are giggling and excited, and they have wonder and reverence for the little One Who came so long ago.

But in contrast, my heart is never far from the tremendous suffering in other parts of the world.  Unlike many, I do believe, with everything I have, that we can change it, and I have begun my own work to try to change it, both by joining the efforts of others, and by trying to formulate my own inspirations into plans. 

This Christmas, part of my heart is very heavy, as I ponder what last Christmas was like for these people, and what it may very well be like again this year.  The LRA, or “Lord’s Resistance Army,” is a radical Ugandan sectarian militant group.  “Between 24 December 2008 and 17 January, LRA rebels killed at least 865 people and abducted about 160 children in the northeastern Haut-Uélé localities of Niangara, Dungu, Faradje and Doruma, according to Human Rights Watch.  At least 400 people were killed in a spate of attacks on 25 and 26 December alone, including about 100 killed in Faradje at a music concert”(source: irin news…the quote at the end would be laughable, were it not so appallingly pompous and ignorant).  The murders and rapes were unspeakably brutal, and practically unimaginable to us, as we sit in our warm, safe homes half-way across the world.  The LRA has made threats and circulated pamphlets that they will repeat what they did last year.  

Is there anything that we can do?  

Though there is much we can do for the Congo, no, there is not a lot we can do in this particular circumstance.  And that infuriates and agonizes me.  

So why do I bring it up?  Why am I spoiling your Christmas cheer?

Because I am praying constantly for this to somehow not happen.  I am praying with everything I have that somehow, the hearts of these evil, wicked men will be softened and turned away from this brutality.  

Futile?  Maybe.  But if you read this, maybe you will take two minutes and pray, too.  

Even in its seeming futility, I am reminded of another Christmas massacre that was avoided over 2,000 years ago, largely by prayer.  Read about it here: 3 Nephi 1:4-21.

Maybe, in taking a minute to pause from the rush and stress of your holiday preparations to pray for genuine suffering, your own troubles will seem very light, and your own blessings much greater this Christmas.   

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