Do you remember the girls of Nigeria? The 200+ schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram, a militant group, in Chibok, a village that is now under siege by the kidnappers. The kidnapping happened three months ago and was an major international news story. Videos of the girls were released and Boko Haram threatened to sell the girls into slavery or as child brides. The impotent Nigerian government was unable to do more than make promises that the girls would be rescued and the group brought to justice. Imagine if 219 girls were kidnapped from your neighborhood high-school? It is difficult to even consider the possibility as a hypothetical until one considers that Chibok is our Newtown. Somehow, I almost forgot about the unbelievable audacity of Boko Haram and the hopeless circumstances of the girls. Time erases the harsh, immediate impact of tragedy from our collective memory. And when we are separated from tragedy by distance, culture, and the filter of television, it's easy to move on to the next awful thing as if we are only capable of grieving one international tragedy at a time.
Yesterday, though, I read this article and learned that the story of the Nigerian schoolgirls was still being written. When some of the missing girls return home they will return to smaller families. 11 parents, siblings, or other extended family members have died in the last three months. The deaths are reported to be the result of health issues multiplied by grief. Better said, so far, 11 people have died from a broken heart.
"One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him,"
What was tragic gave birth to more tragedy. How? Why? Where is God in this?