Justice & Mercy
I can't imagine what was on the minds of those surrounding me. I found myself in the middle of an extremely boisterous group, waving a four foot stick in my right hand. I had wrestled it from the grasp of a man 30 years my junior. My left hand was wrapped tightly around the collar of another man who must have been about the same age as the first man I confronted. Nearly everyone was shouting excitedly while people from all directions were running towards us to join the cacophony of chaos. In the middle of the group sat an African man whose face desparately searched upwardly for sympathy from just a single person. How did I get my self mixed up in all of this?
|Stuffed full of gifts for our 8 boda boda friends|
"Justice" in the Ugandan culture is swift. While the pace of life in Africa has historically been noted as never in a hurry, when it comes to justice it is more swift than anything I can imagine in America. Police are seldom called when a thief is captured. Money is usually demanded from the police before they will take any action and so mob rule seems to be the best alternative for executing judgement on thieves. The shouting by everyone at the same time can only be appropriate so that the guilt or innocent of the defendant is sorted out as quickly as possible and the punishment can begin.
|New shirt ... new friend (Gary Rowe)|
Upon my insistence the bodas went back to work and the stragglers finally gave up. There is a lot more to the story and the details are fascinating and even unimaginable to most people from the West. But, those details are not the point of my blog today.
|8 happy & grateful guys|
I explained to the young men that I saw joy on their faces as they attempted to beat the man, who was stupid for attempting to steal the bicycle, to death. I tried to explain, in simple terms, what I have discovered about the orphan spirit and how mankind lost their way in the Garden of Eden when they got separated from the Father. The orphan spirit became the dominant government of mankind as a result and people have been looking for any excuse to feel superior to those around them. I suggested that each of them were also thieves and liars since most of them have attempted to over charge white people who come from the West. Their thefts are justified in their own minds, and, when they stumbled upon this particular thief, they quickly lost contact with their own personal guilt and delighted in the prospect of even taking a man's life for stealing a bicycle.
|Deodorant gift gets a thumbs up!|
I still have no idea what is in the minds of those men, but I know one thing for sure. They know I am their friend and that I love them very much.