I was studying one day when I heard a young woman screaming in the street, “No mama, no mama.” I went outside to see what was going on and Dave told me that our neighbor was violently whipping her daughter with an electrical cable, even in the face, while her older brother was pinning her down. Dave told the mother that she needed to stop and with much frustration, she eventually relented. She left her daughter on the ground screaming and writhing in pain. The whole neighborhood came out and stood there and watched without saying a word. Eventually everyone went about their businesses, hauling water and going to their fields, indifferent to this 12 year old girl. I went up to her and held her hand and took her to our porch until she calmed down. I prayed with her and encouraged her to confess what she had done wrong to her mother and seek to be reconciled with her. She sobbed as she told me that she was no longer welcome to live in her home. Later on, the mom told me that this girl had disrespected her older brother and that was the reason for the “correction.” She was also not happy with me for intervening and my kindness towards her daughter has led to tension in our relationship. Was I really supposed to coldly walk by a young woman who had just been publically beaten?
Motivating through Fear
But all the logic in the world does not make it less sad. All the biblical assertions of man’s depravity do not make one deaf to the drunk man screaming at his wife and kids outside of your window. Understanding that sinners sin and that without Christ we “would all be the same way” does not lessen in any way the tragedy of lives lived without hope.
So Now What?