Fixing Her Eyes in 2020
What have you found hard?
Tanzania has had a lockdown of a different kind - a data lockdown. There have been no stats about numbers of cases, etc since May. I've found it very hard to be left in the dark like that, to feel like I can't make wise decisions because I don't have the information that I need. What has surprised you?
The crisis that was predicted in Tanzania doesn’t appear to have happened. Doctor friends tell us that hospital covid wards are empty. Following the President, Tanzanians say God has protected Tanzania in response to nationwide prayers. When asked why God has protected Tanzania and not other nations, they say, who can know the mind of God? If you are in strife, cry out to Him; if He blesses you, thank Him. What have you learned about yourself?
I've learned that I like the world to be explainable. Tanzanians care less about that; they take situations as they come. Many perceive my desire for explanations as trying to control the world in a way that is God's alone. We came to Tanzania determined to put off our cultural baggage in order to see the world as Tanzanians do and learn from them, but covid has shown the limit of my capacity to do so. That's been intensely uncomfortable for me. What have you learned about God?
I think I'm learning about God as Judge, how He does indeed hand us over to our sin. As we humans continue to consume rather than care for the natural world, that has consequences, like animal diseases jumping over to us, because habitat destruction and decrease in biodiversity means they have nowhere else to go. I'm thankful that ultimately the coronavirus holds no power over those of us who know Jesus, because our ultimate safety is assured, but it's my fervent prayer that we allow the tragic losses of covid-19 to rebuke our failures when it comes to loving our neighbour and stewarding creation. What is one thing that has brought you joy this season?
Our 5 month-long total self-isolation brought a new slowness and simplicity to our life. Amidst the monotony, worry and squabbles, there were also slower starts to the day, no rushing to and from school pick up, no agonising over saying no to invitations to go to things.