People on various Caribbean islands plus those in Texas and Florida have suffered greatly in recent weeks. Several hurricanes have swept over them leaving a trail of destruction.
It will take months, in some cases years, to rebuild.
All this happened in slow motion. It takes several days for a hurricane to gather momentum out in the ocean before it hits the coastline and wreak havoc.
Fewer lives are lost because governments can prepare for the disaster. But once a hurricane hits, nothing can stop it from ripping trees out of the ground and mangling power lines into spaghetti.
One can only stand at a distance and wait for the flood-waters to return to the sea.
Kenya never has hurricanes — or cyclones as they are called on this side of the planet. We experience the occasional flood.
But the average Kenyan has no clue what it means to see winds gusting at 200 kilometres per hour.
What we are familiar with, unfortunately, is another force of nature—this time, human nature. It builds up slowly just like a hurricane and can be just as devastating. At this point, it is almost at the level of what the weather experts would call a “perfect storm”. Can Kenya avoid it? Can we do anything to prevent this disaster?
One side looks at the other side as if those “on the other side” were their sworn enemy. What does one do to their enemy? One prepares to protect himself and does not hesitate to contemplate the use of force, even lethal force if necessary.
How did we get to this point? I don’t know. I can only hope that I am exaggerating. But I listen to the way people are talking, and I can feel the storm coming. It’s so obvious that I hardly need mention what I am referring to. Everyone knows.
Experience can help us here. Even in a family people argue and can get very upset. The more family members argue, the less anyone listens. Tempers flare and words piled on top of words do more to divide than unite. All the arguments do nothing to convince anyone of anything.
If ever there was a time when we needed to turn to God and pray, this is it. Not the kind of prayer telling God: “Make sure my candidate wins!” We need another kind of prayer: “God, no matter what happens, no matter who wins, watch over us. Help us overcome our differences without sinking into bitterness and hatred.”
Not all hurricanes do damage. The ones that remain out over the ocean are harmless. Let’s pray that the “hurricane” that’s coming never hits Kenya.