John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
As our Saviour sleeps in his tomb this morning, I can’t help but think about the innocent lives of young university students, in Kenya, cut short in ruthless terror.
Envisioned bright future, unrealistic long-standing dreams; everything imaginable and unimaginable that crosses young minds. They were like you and me.
That morning, they just woke up to see another day. Some went for their morning prayers, others went to classrooms to memorise that one last sentence for an imminent exam. Others were just still under their sheets and blankets, waiting for the last second to rush – at breakneck speed – to their classes.
They had immersed themselves completely in their textbooks for an exam that will never be; and were unknowingly enjoying their last sleep. Some had a hangover from the bubbly glasses of wine they had sipped in the previous evening, others were making furtive phone calls to the ladies they had slept with last night – and whose minds were filled with the tantalising promises of their husband/wife-to-be.
They didn’t know that the devil had sent his stooges. Except the two security guards at the main gate, the university compound was not impregnable against determined terrorists. On that very morning, the fastidious had no reason to smell the looming danger. It was a normal morning like any other.
All of a sudden, they were all nonplussed as the doors of their hostels and windows of their classrooms were viciously smashed. The denizens of the desert were in. The hopeful had those wistful smiles on their mouths, hoping that the army would come – in time – to their rescue. The distraught ones jostled for a hiding. Ingress, egress, and regress had all but become a dream.
The terrorists called them out to survive – “If you want to survive, come out; if you want to die, stay inside,” they reportedly yelled. Many fell for the militants’ trick. The later smirked as the students stormed the corridors, falling on each other, trying hopelessly to get out. The militants smiled wryly as they knew that this was a hoax to get them killed.
These university students epitomise innocent souls wandering haplessly for their lives, ready to do anything to live for another sunrise. In boxer shorts and thin nightgowns, the ladies thought they were going to be molested. Bombs were not immediately hurled at them. They were asked to lie down in neat rows, only to be shot in the back of their heads.
A few incredulous students listened to their colleagues’ last scream as their waited for their turn, their lives’ flashbacks vividly drifting past. Those with sangfroid managed to stay put. The taciturn ones remained silent as their truculent friends tried to argue. None was spared.
Armed forces waited adamantly for a ‘convincing’ warning. Gunshots lured them in only to find lifeless bodies spread all over the place.
They died studying, they were murdered praying, and their lives were cut short with all their dreams. They were murdered because they couldn’t recite a passage from the Koran. All we can do is try to describe the indescribable, understand the incomprehensible.
Garissa Attack was another awful day in humanity’s history.
The thought of taking lives – let alone young ones, fills most of us with repugnance. We are always trying to grasp what is going on in the mind of those who dare to shot other human beings, under the guise of religious differences or any other reason, to end their live.
As believers in Christ and Resurrection, let us today pray for those young souls whose lives were cut short. They were students, they were dreamers, they were visionaries, they were tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and achievers; just like you and me.
In company with Christ who died and now lives, may they rejoice in the Almighty’s kingdom – where all our tears are wiped away. May their innocent souls be granted eternal life and may their families find strength and comfort in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
United as East Africans, Let’s Pray for Kenya.
This article was originally posted on the author’s blog, Go4It.