God plays a very important role in Rwandan culture. In fact, Rwandans believed that they had special ownership of the deity. There is even a famous saying that during the day God is away in other places but comes home (Rwanda) to roost at night.
During the 25th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, President Paul Kagame broached the subject, referring to some young poet a few years ago who raised the question of if it was true God slept in Rwanda, where was it during the Genocide?
That is a question that has come up several times with some jokingly saying that every hard worker needs some time off to recuperate and that God had gone on a vacation. It is no joking matter.
25 years later the effects are still being felt with cases of trauma never showing signs on their being on the decline. In fact, the most worrying matter is the rise in the intergenerational transmission of trauma where parents pass it down to their offspring – even those born after the Genocide.
Experts suggest several ways to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but there is no guarantee it will disappear altogether. Rwandans have shown that they can pick up the pieces and mend the hard way, that is their only salvation.
It is that resilience and grit exhibited over the years that is needed, nothing else. Rwanda was deeply wounded for any scientific approach to stitch up, but what we can do is making sure the 1994 demons are not given room, that justice is done.
God might have been on vacation in 1994, but why should He be left all the responsibility to clean up our mess? The first line of defence is you.