It was eleven o’clock on a cool Monday evening and I was climbing into bed. Between soft Egyptian cotton sheets. Under a thick comforter. Among five plump pillows.
And five miles away, terror, panic and evil continued. Three days earlier, gunmen stormed the Westgate Mall in Nairobi and began firing their automatic weapons and tossing hand grenades into the crowds. Within the hour, images flashed across the news and we watched, horrified.
Minutes, hours and then days ticked by. Defense forces converged and battled the gunmen. The news commentators commented endlessly and repeated horrific information hour after hour. The hospitals were swamped. The number of fatalities grew.
The incongruity of that hour on Monday night was stunning. I was in a cozy, quiet room, getting into bed. At the same moment, men, women and children were either hiding, killed or held as hostages. It was like we were on two different planets or a bizarre time warp.
And then it dawned on me. This happens every day. All around the world. Evil plays out, people suffer, death and destruction unfold. For months on end. Far more extensively than this. And a few miles away, people check their email, stop at the store for milk, and visit the dentist. They exist side by side. I had never been so close to this kind of death and destruction. And I wasn’t really close, not by a long shot. But I had a taste.
I don’t know what to do with this. I just know that I still have so much to learn.