Monday, November 28, 2011
Through my Kitchen Window
I read in the paper today that Ojukwu has passed away in a London Hospital at the age of 78. That name may mean nothing to you but the man changed my world.
In 1966, I was a little girl playing happily in the Nigerian town of Ogbomosho. I had trees to climb, sprawling yards of green grass to run in, pet monkeys and parrots to make me laugh, and friends I loved. But also in 1966, unbeknownst to me, this man – Chukwemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu declared the Eastern Region of Nigeria to be the new sovereign nation of Biafra. This part of Nigeria included the oil rich Niger River Delta, where I was born but it did not include Ogbomosho where I lived. This man’s declaration changed my world forever.
Thanks to this man, a civil war broke out in Nigeria and I had new experiences. I learned new words – like hate, war, fear, danger, death, and prejudice. Finally in 1968 when my parents left Nigeria, never to return, I learned the meaning of the terms separation, loss, and sadness. Isn’t it funny how one person’s life impacts another? I never knew this man and he never knew me but his life changed my life’s direction.
But as I think of this today, I am not sad. Why? Because My Lord was directing my steps all along, even through the experiences of war, loss, and separation. And I am reminded of some words from the prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah 6: 1 he writes, “In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.”
What was Isaiah’s reaction to the uncertainty of political change around him? He saw the Lord, high and lifted up! May we keep our eyes on Him no matter what changes are occurring in our lives today!