One year ago, we were sitting here in this same place.
The same physical space, our home here in Kibuye.
The same chronological space, most of the way through holy week.
Mentally, emotionally – it’s not the same. Still different – but a different different than a year ago.
Last week I was moving things around in my office and noticed I had neglected to take down a 2020 calendar still hanging on the side of the storage closet.
It hadn’t been touched since we left for Canada last year. Meaning it still was displaying February 2020. That was the calendar I used to make a few notes on. No upcoming meetings, or trips, or things which I keep on my phone, but notes to myself related to a specific day.
There was only one entry.
I wrote it on the square labelled: Feb 15, 2020.
The square directly below it is the date that we’ll never forget.
The seeming innocence of the letters and numbers betrayed the depth of my feelings as I read them.
JP avance 50.000
JP – our faithful worker of 5 years – asked for a salary advance of about half his monthly wage, while at the same time helping to plan an armed robbery on our house.
It was shocking to me to see this information now.
While he was asking us to do him a favor, he was scheming for our downfall.
At the same time, he was banking on our kindness and looking forward to cashing in on a crime committed against us.
The stack of bills where that 50.000 came from, was in the safe I was forced to open at gunpoint 7 days later.
I’ve written on this betrayal before – in fact it was one year ago, on Maundy Thursday.
One of the truths that has been driven home for me over the past year is that… people are complicated.
People are not simple.
We want them to be, but they aren’t.
It’s so tempting to want to label someone: one of the good guys, one of the bad guys.
But the truth is, it’s not that simple.
Someone who I feel completely sold me out and threw me under the bus when push came to shove – then does something sacrificial and considerate.
Someone I think of as quite a bit like me betrays a sacred vow.
People are complicated.
As much as I don’t want people to judge me, to label me, to pigeon-hole me into some category that I didn’t ask for – I am so tempted to do that exact thing to others.
The days leading up to Easter feels like we get bathed in such stories from the Biblical accounts of those first events. Stories that show we don’t ever know the full story of someone.
Peter – who was strong, faithful, dependable – seems to collapse in denial like a deck of cards.
Judas – one of the 12 men closest to Jesus – betrays him to his enemies.
The women who are close to Jesus – who are used to being marginalized and always second in line – are the first ones on the scene of the resurrection, and tell the others.
Nicodemus – a strong leader of the group opposing Jesus – comes to Jesus quietly at night because he wants to learn from him.
It goes on and on.
I need to remember this when someone does something to me that makes me want to immediately react with a snap judgement.
I don’t know what’s going on.