Sunday has come again, and I am in Uganda.  Pastor Kamye, a friend of the Dameron family, asked if I would preach today.  I know few passages better than Psalm 139, so that’s what all three congregations heard about.  Though rushed, it was very easy to tie the idea of Psalm and song together in a land like this.  I was treated to the musical talents of the parishioners at all three locations.  In every case the people danced as they sang; lively, living, alive, life-full worship is the Ugandan village way.

Honestly I’ve never been so heart broken for a people as I was today.  At the first church the congregation trickled in over about half-an-hour, but the first people there were three boys and a woman in a gold and black dress.  Kamye said to me that two of the boys had lost both parents to AIDS and that the woman now looked after them.  These two kids must have been six and seven years old.  At the second church a boy approached me after the service for prayer.  I held onto him for a minute and did my best to entreat God to a will other than the one currently exhibited.  I prayed that the child not be afraid, I could see the wear of fear in and around his eyes.  When I finally put my open hand on his chest, it felt like his heart was racing in a rage of fierce, constant beating.  His mother said it had been acting like that since Friday.  A doctors visit costs about $50, so what can she do?  The difference between living and dying is $50.

The beauty of this place is in the spirit; spirit of land, spirit of creatures, spirit of sun.  A photograph could never explain the edge on which the lives of children balance here.  Theology could never explain away the guilt I feel as an American standing by, allowing it.