Disturbing the Peace 

​A medium sized, middle class suburb located 19 km from the City Center, hence the name “cuminicyenda”. We moved here in 2004. We hate this place for its remoteness to almost everything…the market, pharmacy, bank…most necessary goods and services are within riding distance. There’s not much activity here, so we commute elsewhere for them. And public transport here is a complete terrible failure, but is at least available (that’s for another post). Cuminicyenda it is.

Our neighborhood is under the flight path of Kigali International Airport. And from where we live, it’s the landings rather than the take-offs that disturb us. Some aircrafts are barely noticeable that their sound is almost as loud as the sound of a car driving by, it’s just that it lasts a little longer. But there are those that fly over so loudly that they rattle the windows and shake your soul. Those aircrafts that fly over screaming above the rooftop that they give babies nightmares. Those that make it impossible to have uninterrupted conversations. When you’re in a conversation, either on the phone or face to face outside, speaking louder is useless. You just stop talking, let the plane pass and then continue on. And when you’re watching TV, you miss hearing every other minute.

Regardless, we don’t get a lot of noisy traffic and our neighborhood is generally peaceful. Or it’s just that I got used to most of the noise. Or that I have unacknowledged hearing loss. Hehe. I don’t know which is which. For fear of crashes…well, such events terrify me. The thought of an airplane being in a situation where they lose control and can’t avoid us, terrifies me. Besides that, our neighborhood is suitable for human living. 

However, few months ago some other kind of noise pollution joined in.
First, I heard the sound of drumbeats. I thought that it was someone playing loud music. But it went on for an hour. People joined in shouting songs of praise. Maybe it was a choir doing rehearsals and they would be gone in another hour, I thought. The following day, the same happened. And the following day. And then their noise started as early as 9AM. The noise was becoming a bit unbearable. We later learned that a certain Mama Pasteri started a church, in our neighborhood. Nowadays, churches and prophets are springing up everywhere…churches have become businesses. Where did the spirits go?

Our patience was being tested by the church members whose worship services were ultrasonic. The drumbeats from the church were too loud, they made our houses vibrate. They sung. Noticeably unpleasant songs that lack musical quality. They clapped hands, jumped and did all the acrobatics. Few yelled out random words. Praise Jesus! Hallelujah! Disturbances, yelling and tantrums that interfered with our hearing. You can imagine what we were going through daily.

Nowadays, their worship services are only held on Sundays. Even so, these people pray at the top of their lungs. They don’t feel satisfied with moderating their voices and keeping the volume low. They don’t feel satisfied with praying in silence especially in the middle of the neighborhood where babies are sleeping and people are working. People who can’t pray in silence simply annoy and irritate me.

I, by the way, am also a Christian. 
Prayer is a means of communicating to God, in word or thought. And before you say a prayer, God knows it already. Even before you have the thought within your mind, God already knows it. And God is not deaf. God listens! So, why the noise?

It’s great that some people out there are praying for all of us. It’s just the volume of their voices that frustrates me. Why must they shout? Do they pray to a god with impaired hearing? Or they worship the same god that the prophets of Baal worshipped? 

Jesus came to bring peace, but some of His followers won’t stop disturbing the peace. 

Well, get it from me, Jesus doesn’t love you anymore because you’re shouting. And please don’t tell me I’m on the wrong path. I’m doing fine, thank you very much. Don’t even try giving me a lecture, just because I don’t agree with your shouting (and doctrines and opinions). What’s left? Pray for me? 

If you want to, just go ahead and do it.

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