Right now, I feel that perhaps like the friends of Job (Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar), who came to visit their sick friend and found the burden beyond comprehension, we find ourselves in the same situation. For, as we know, when they came and found Job in his condition, they spent seven days and seven nights, and uttered not a word (Job 2:13). Right now, no one can claim a full understanding of the state we are in. However, even if we cannot understand the issues of the moment, our faith compels us to understand that God’s hand is in all this. The challenge is for us to have the patience to let His will be done.
The tragedy in Madalla was seen as a direct attack on Christians. When Boko Haram claimed responsibility, this line of argument seemed persuasive to those who believed that these merchants of death could be linked to the religion of Islam. Happily, prominent Muslims rose in unison to condemn this evil act and denounced both the perpetrators and their acts as being un-Islamic. All of this should cause us to pause and ponder about the nature of the force of evil that is in our midst and to appreciate the fact that contrary to popular thinking, we are not faced with a crisis or conflict between Christians and Muslims. Rather, like the friends of Job, we need to humbly appreciate the limits of our human understanding.
Two, these times call for solidarity of all people of faith. We are a nation of very strong believers and despite what anyone else may say, millions of our Christians and Muslims do take their religion very seriously. However, you might ask, if that is true, why do we have so many killings in the name of God and of religion? My answer is that we have such killings because we live in an environment of a severely weak architecture of state which allows evil to triumph. It is this poverty that produces jealousy and hatred which leads to violence.