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STORY: Along the Blind Path Home

Bemer was a street orphan; his parents had been killed years before in their increasingly corrupt and violent town of Mont Zoko, Rwanda.

Bemer made a friend at school named Toto who invited him over often. Toto was crippled but the boys were very kind to each other. They gave Bemer a bed whenever he needed one. Toto even invited Bemer to spend Christmases with his family. Toto's family welcomed him in as their own whenever he needed a place to stay, or a family to be with. Toto's dad once told Bemer, "You are a very good friend to my Toto. Thank you." Bemer had always felt Toto's family loved him, until at age 17 Toto's dad held Bemer down and cut into his eyes.

In the previous months, the river had dried up outside of Mont Zoko. And this strain of resources had raised tensions between tribal factions. Toto's dad had scared the family several nights when getting home he told them with a very somber voice that he sensed a civil war coming. He knew his society needed a cleansing, but he was not at all comfortable with what he sensed was ahead.

Eventually they hit a breaking point and one side commanded all their men to conduct a tribal cleansing. The young seemingly miraculous leader of Bemer's tribe had gone into hiding so Toto's tribe had started by commanding the killing of all young able bodied males from Bemer's tribe as a method to suss out the leader, but also to kill anyone else able to fight against them.

It was a gruesome Tuesday night, the likes of which had not been seen since the Rwandan genocide. Toto's dad barged into the room where Toto and Bemer slept. He was with a gruff-voiced man. Toto's dad said, "This one. He's one of them." The other man said, "Well then, do it!"

Toto's dad dragged Bemer out into the street and told the other man to stand back. Toto's dad stabbed at Bemer a couple times in a knocking of knuckles and forearms, and then said, "I'm going to blind him just in case." He knocked Bemer down and held Bemer's head to the curb. He knelt on top of him and cut around his eyes, so there was lots of blood, and his eyelids were too mangled to see out of. And before he let him up he whispered, if you go up the river bed until it becomes straight we will be waiting for you there. Be there by Christmas."

Bemer stumbled his way toward the dried up river, holding his eyes, bleeding everywhere. Anybody could see that with blood everywhere he was in no state to fight, and so they left him alone. He finally found the edge and slipped down into the nearly dry riverbed. He washed his wounds and recovered there. He realized that even though he had been bruised and some cuts on his arms, Toto's father had not actually stabbed into his torso.

He still fumed. How could who he thought loved him betray him.

But as he heard shouts above him, and even heard people of the opposing tribe pass him in the riverbed, he realized Toto's father had effectively saved him. With blood everywhere, and appearing to be blind, no one thought he was a threat. Not only did Toto's dad save him, but he saved him from seeing the carnage.

After he realized this he trekked up the river as Toto's father had instructed him, feeling his way along the edges drinking from the remaining water. He indeed felt the walls become straighter and smoother. The violent noises became more distant, and less frequent.

Eventually he heard little Toto's voice calling to him, "Bemer! Bemer! Come over here!" The rest of Toto's family came running. Apparently they had a house along the river in the rural lands outside of the town. They brought him in and sat him down. Toto's mother and father tended to his wounds and fed him.

Toto's dad said, "Bemer, I can't express to you how sorry I am about what I did to your eyes. They said I had to prove what side I was on before they would move on from my family and they had seen you at our house. I know you are a good boy and we are trying to save the good ones while the wicked kill each other."

Toto nodded because he now understood. Then he asked, "Who is . . . 'we'?" There was a long pause and he sensed the family was excited to tell him some news. Toto's father said quietly, "There is word that Dumbaboo, the miraculous leader of your tribe will save the righteous on Christmas.

"What is today?"

"It's Christmas eve!" little Toto said excitedly.

Toto's dad continued, "The violent leaders of our tribe still haven't found him. But the most violent ones on each side have killed many of each other off. And judging by reports it is assumed that Dumbaboo has enough followers to handily take over the royal grounds. And we all know that he rules with equity and peace."

And so they waited by the radio for the news of the coming of the benevolent regime to save them from the violent one, until it finally came on Christmas Day. And Bemer's eyes healed in a few weeks enough to see the beautiful new regime cleaning out and building up their little town.


In Isaiah 42 it prophesies:

I will lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn rivers into islands and dry up the pools. 16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.

And this is the strange and unsavory salvation coming to save the righteous. The wicked are to be destroyed, and the blind be led until they see the light. So wherever you are and whatever tumult is happening politically around the world, understand that sometimes a violent regime must be removed violently so that one of peace may take its place.

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