Thursday, November 27, 2014

One Single Body?

I wanted to write a more positive blog post about Thanksgiving and the things I am thankful for. I truly have a lot to be thankful for this year and every year. I know that.

But I’m also angry.

I’m angry at my country and my city. I’m angry at people of my race who are not bothered by the system that is set in place in the US and the consequences it has on so many lives – on family, friends, classmates, and moreover other human beings. I’m also angry at the country I’m currently in. At the inequalities that exist here. But also at the violence that is present and increasing as a result of both of these systems of inequality.

Either here or in the US, this violence hits closer to home every day. And I feel like I am surrounded by it.

But I know that in either situation I am privileged. I’m privileged because of the color of my skin. Because of the neighborhood I live in in Bujumbura. Because I have health insurance. Because if it comes down to it, I will be evacuated. And others won't. Because I can go home at the end of the day in the US and not worry about the color of my skin affecting my safety when interacting with police. 

I know that I'm privileged. But I'm still angry. How can we say we are all part of the same body, if we are all acting like many individual parts? 

There are many things that I want to share that I am thankful for though. 

I am thankful for those who are fighting a system that has been in place for too long in the United States. I'm thankful for those who are angered by inequality. I'm thankful for my family here in Bujumbura, and the opportunity to gather together today and eat some amazing food. I'm thankful for babies gaining weight who were born too small. I'm thankful for the internet which will (God willing) allow me to see and talk to my family in the US today. 

I'm sorry this post maybe isn't a complete thought. But here is a classic quote for the day: 

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. 
But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."
- Lila Watson


  1. You are a rock star! May both your anger and your gratitude continue to fuel your passion and inform your ministry. Those, along with your calm centered generous self will serve you and the world well. I am grateful for your witness and compassion. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Carolyn, a well said post my friend. I think we should continue to let our frustration fuel our patience, passions, and persistence. Thanking is only an action; it is my hope to live every day with thanks for life no matter what privileges we may (or may not) have. Murakoze cane mugenzi.

  3. Kate G. nailed it. We are thankful that the righteous anger of you and others is at work to bring about God's kin-dom on earth. It's a dichotomy to live with both thankfulness for blessings and also frustration over injustice, Thank you for naming it and living it. We at Westminster Presbyterian Church are thankful for you, dear Carolyn!

  4. P.S. Have I said, I love your hair? I do! And it can't be overstated how fabulous your pictures are. <3