Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Stoning

A couple weeks ago, I witnessed something I had never seen before – a stoning. On my way home from Nairobi’s city centre, I ran in to a homeless thief. He snatched a woman’s handbag, and as the woman stood on the median and screamed, he ran in and out of traffic, trying to escape. Unfortunately, the young man was caught by other pedestrians, beaten, and stoned on the side of the road. There was a lot of blood. I don’t know if he survived, but the event left an indelible mark in my mind. I was reminded of Jesus’ words: “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone. . .”

Who am I to stop a stoning?
To bend down when the blood
Is just drying?
Echoed laughter and sullen stares
Vegetable vendors and taxi drivers
Stalled cars and pedestrians caught
By the midday sun.
Arms still angry,
Mouths wide with abuse.
Within moments his frail form falls.
Unnamed and pelted, swallowed
By the stones.
So we stand by, even now incensed,
Remembering the one last time
Who got away.

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