The Choice

Your father calls you into his room one evening, sitting down to discuss the crisis in Somalia. People are dying, victims of starvation and war and disease. He tells you that before they die, most suffer in ways you can’t imagine. Your father reveals there is only one way to save these people, to end the suffering and genocide. You must go to Somalia personally. When you go it will not be in the manner of a quick-fix hero swooping down in a helicopter, dumping sacks of food into remote villages while thankful villagers jump for joy and sing your praises. It won’t be as a United Nations official negotiating peace between warring parties and acquiring a Nobel Peace Prize in the process. It will be as a nobody. There will be nothing special about your appearance that will cause people to listen to you. You will have to be reborn as a tiny, vulnerable baby, trusting in two noble but fallible human beings who will fulfill the role of parents. You will be born among the goats with the stench of manure all around. You will have no official power or authority, no diplomas, no credentials that declare this is a person who matters, a person they should respect and listen to. You will be given the mission to declare to the people of Somalia that there is one way out of their misery and you are that way. Some will listen. Most won’t. You will make enemies of the power brokers who have a vested interest in things staying the same. You will make enemies of the local religious officials who have learned the art of accommodation and compromise. Riots will break out because of you and in the end a mob will attack you, drive nails into you, howl at you, insult you, shred you of every bit of human decency. Yet, the father who asks you to take on this mission assures you that by submitting to all of this - by giving up your family, your wealth, your power - you will ensure the salvation of the Somalian people. Would you do it? Would you go? Would you do what Jesus did for you?