So this is it, huh, MOM Squad? We’re three days in to 2014. Three whole days already! I’ve been giving a lot of thought about what I want my first words on the blog to be in the New Year, and the only thing that has been consistent on my heart and mind since the end of December has been the plight of Central African Republic (CAR).

As you can tell from my hashtaged title, you already know where I’m going with this. You don’t? Oh. I thought it would be obvious. Well, I’m going to pray for CAR. Don’t worry. I’m not going to ask or invite you to either. I find that prayer is better performed when people are moved to do so, not beseeched. I wouldn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable like that.

My Politically Correct-o-meter (which hasn’t worked in years) tells me that I should not be blogging about prayer on a blog that isn’t “religious”. Prayer, after all, is meant to be personal…something between you and God – or whatever deity you serve. But since I’ve told you guys about everything from hemorrhoids to sucking milk out of my own breasts, I figure this shouldn’t hurt you that badly.

central_african_republic_smThere are some people reading today that have never heard of Central African Republic. That’s okay. The country isn’t a big news-maker. There hasn’t been any charismatic leadership  of note to come out of the country, it’s not a synonym for a natural resource (i.e. Gold Coast or Ivory Coast), and it certainly has not garnered any Hollywood interest. Perhaps if Angelina would condescend to visit the country, people might care more about CAR; but for the moment it gets a mention (via a link) at the bottom of the World section on CNN – if you’re lucky. Most of the news I’ve found on CAR has been on Reuters or lesser known news sources. And that’s why I’m compelled to pray.

There is another genocide potentially brewing in this landlocked African nation, and as far as I can tell, it has everything to do with matters that should not concern Africans: foreign religions. That’s right. The Christians and Muslims are at it again. Renegades and vigilantes are beheading children, raping women, and burning homes in the name of their respective Sky Gods, compelling me to pray to MY Sky God to intervene because humanity – once again – is about to conveniently turn a blind eye to death and destruction of people that they deem hardly human anyway. The aid group Doctors Without Borders has already said it has begun scaling back its work in the country because it has no guaranteed security for its members. What else can I do but pray? If people are too frightened to enter this hellscape, then yes, I must pray for angels to go! And after angels, men with bigger guns; and after them, men in nice suits and shiny pens to sign peace accords.

Of course, when you peel this thing all the way back, I’m certain it has nothing to do with religion at all. Warring over religion is merely a convenient façade. As with every religious war in human history, this is surely about resources – scarce or otherwise – and who has control of them. It is about one group’s presumed superiority over another, and an inability to share power, wealth and resources equally. There are probably some Chinese and Russian factions stirring up trouble and supplying arms to these vigilante groups in exchange for rice and diamonds.

Rice and diamonds…

Oh, Saint Rodney King! If you’re watching, bless these people with your profound wisdom. Whisper in the ear of each angry miscreant, and ask them as you asked America that day: “Can’t we all just get along?!?”

So that’s my prayer, Almighty one in Heaven. I try not to trouble You often, but I am compelled to do so today, and every day until peace and order are restored in CAR. Send a Get Along Angel to CAR. And send a We Should Run this Story Often Angel to the world’s newsrooms. And most importantly, send a I’ll Break Your Face if you Touch Another Child with a Machete Angel to dwell in the house of every mother in the country as well.