I stand outside the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre looking out over the beautiful city of Kigali, Rwanda, where a progressing, strikingly beautiful city is growing. People are warm and friendly. There is a strong ethic to move forward together for positive growth. Compared to many places, things seem put together, peaceful, hopeful, happy.
Standing there outside the memorial, I am reminded that people carry stories within them that are not expressly apparent on the outside. Every person’s story is different. Some have found forgiveness, some still cannot move past the pain, some have found incredible healing.
But this is not true just in Kigali. People everywhere carry stories of joy, of hurt, of struggle, of victory. People everywhere need hope and healing—Rwandans, Americans, our neighbors, the next person in line at the grocery store, our friends, ourselves. Chick-fil-A’s video clip “Every Life Has a Story” illustrates this beautifully.
I am reminded that an incredible opportunity awaits us every day. An opportunity to look up and away from our own schedules, plans, and thoughts, and to see people around us—to really see and hear them. An opportunity awaits us to be led by the Spirit to offer the needed word of encouragement, the listening ear, the smile of congratulation and shared joy—an opportunity to walk with one another, to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. The smallest act of care can make all the difference. Lord, have mercy on my all too often closed eyes and heart, and help us all to truly see and love those around us.