Sunday, May 18, 2008

Joanna and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I figured out why I've stopped reading so much. I really thought that it was because of blogs but I was wrong.

Yesterday I decided that it was time to go to the library and get some of the books on my list. They had two of annoying. Apparently I like to read obscure books. Anyway, I put those two books on hold and then tried to figure out what other books I'd like to read. I remembered that Granny had recommended a book on her blog so I checked to see if the library had it and they did. I went to the library, about 10:30 in the morning, and got Left to Tell:Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza. I read about two chapters of it and the introduction (I read all that stuff, too) when I got home and then I got tired and fatigued and busy and just put the book off for a while.

After the kids went to bed I cleaned up the kitchen and by 9pm I was settled on the couch with this book. 4 hours and 5 minutes later, I finished the acknowledgements, closed the book and proceeded to berate myself for NOT BEING ABLE TO PUT A BOOK DOWN. It's terrible!!! I get so into the story that I just can't stop. It's worse than TV. At least with TV you can half pay attention to stuff, but with a book, you must put all of yourself into it. I can't do anything else at all while I'm reading.

Of course, it took me a good hour to go to sleep since this is a very intense book and I'm running over scenes in my head and critiquing it for quite a long time. I'm tired.

So today, the girls get into a pushing fight and they have to get swats, which always is sad for me, then I have this horrible neck pain from sitting in a funny position and reading until one in the morning, we went to a new church, which was stressful, I'm exhausted and barely staying awake here but can't nap because no one can do anything without mom, Sarah spilled lemonade on the living room floor. The final straw for my horrible day was as I was coming out of the bathroom after I cleaned it up, I didn't know that Lily was right outside the door and I opened the door real quick and smacked her hard on the head with the door. I hit her so hard she fell over backwards screaming her head off. So, of course, I'm consoling her and I think she's fine but when I put her down she's following me around screaming for a good amount of time. This is right about the time I really want to smash my head in the refrigerator door.

The book. Immaculee Ilibagiza is a Rwandan, of the Tutsi tribe. In 1994 the president of Rwanda was killed when his airplane was shot out of the sky and upon that event, the Hutu tribe decided that it was a good time to rid the country of the Tutsis. They commenced in equipping every Hutu in Rwanda with guns and machetes so that they could murder their Tutsi neighbors, men, women, adults, children, elderly, infants. Immaculee was hidden in a Hutu pastor's bathroom with up to 7 other women for three months while a million of her fellow countrymen were ruthlessly gunned down or hacked to pieces - her words - in the matter of three months. This is her story, of how she relied on God to deliver her from madness; the madness of the Hutus and the madness of her own brain. It is also a story of forgiveness and how only through God's grace and love can we learn to forgive people who have hurt us and move on with our lives.

It's hard for me to believe that a million people were killed in three months while I was 17 and pouting about not being able to stay out longer than 11pm. It's appalling that in the late 20th century, when all the world seems civilized, a million people were killed in three months because they were taller and their nose was different. Where were we? What were the politics behind us deciding it was okay to ignore this situation? What was Bill Clinton doing that he didn't feel this was something we should be interested in. Although, believe me, this is the first book I've read about the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and I've only vaguely heard of it before this so I'm hardly one to be making any sort of statement about what should have been done or the rightness or wrongness of our actions or lack thereof.

Immaculee is very detailed in her description of what went on. Some of the images she presented are awful and ones I wish I could rid my brain of. I asked God how people could be so inhuman and evil and the thing that came to me was that they were acting human. It is in our very nature be so selfish about the lives of others. It is only God through us that we are able to show love, forgiveness, selflessness and have humane treatment of others.

I don't think she should have dumbed down the images in the book, because how else do we learn from the mistakes of others, when you don't even describe what the mistakes were.


Joanna said...

There were other things about the book that I thought were worth discussing, but this post was already really long, so I left them out.

Johanna said...

Wow, that sounds like quite a book. I don't know if I could read it at this point in my pregnancy. I cry at the drop of a hat. Over really benign things, too. So something that is actually worth crying over would really do me in!

Really bad day, too. So sorry about that. Is Lily okay? How was the church? Is it the one Del had visited and liked?

Lawanda said...

I am the same way with reading-all-nighters.

I am sorry you had such a day.

And I cry over EVERYthing....even when I am not prego ;)