Whispers in the Dark

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Whispers in the Dark

westgate mall, 2010

westgate mall, 2010

I had another post planned for today. A humorous, sarcastic post. Something light after last week’s heaviness of sexual harassment and race and poverty issues.

But then I spent the day in homes that had no food at lunchtime. I don’t mean they didn’t have food people felt like eating. I mean it was lunchtime and there was no food in the house.

I heard from girls who sleep in every pair of pants they own (1-2 on average) in the hopes that it might deter rape.

I wrote a check to CSW for Syrian refugees and read a book about a hostage in Somalia.

And then I checked Twitter.

And it all came crashing in. Nairobi. Westgate shopping mall.

I waited to confirm what I already knew – that my kids hadn’t been in Nairobi that day, and what I didn’t already know – that none of the other students were harmed at Westgate that day, that none of the other people we love were at the mall that day. I wanted to hear that no one was at the mall. But that’s not what I heard.

And so I just can’t post the sarcastic, prepared post today. My heart isn’t in it. My heart is barely in writing at all this week. Sometimes I write my way out of darkness but maybe this darkness needs to linger, heavy, while I cry and whisper, “Mercy.”

Today I cover my blog with my hands the way I covered my mouth this weekend.

Few words. Just whispers in the dark.


By |September 23rd, 2013|Categories: africa|Tags: , , |19 Comments


  1. Ruth September 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Tears. Prayers.

  2. Marilyn September 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Oh Rachel – I needed to read this. I actually referenced you in my post today as I hadn’t received your email when I wrote it. Your words – poignant and true “Sometimes I write my way out of darkness but maybe this darkness needs to linger, heavy, while I cry and whisper, “Mercy.”
    I wish I lived closer….

  3. Meri September 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    I am glad your children are ok. I have been often in the mall and it was tough to watch the news. Terrible.

  4. Laurie September 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Grieving with those who grieve. Crying out for mercy. And so thankful that He intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

  5. richelle @ "our wright"-ing pad September 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    been praying for you and your kiddos since i saw the news… will continue… crying mercy and allowing tears to fall… with you, for you…

  6. Priscilla September 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Thank you Rachel, We, too, spent a muted weekend, waiting … and still waiting … praying for those still inside the mall. And for those who are wounded physically and for those who are traumatized by what they have experienced and seen and heard. Terrorism – we say the word too lightly. It is terror! May the Lord be a strong refuge for all those in Nairobi who seem so vulnerable.

  7. Claire De Boer September 24, 2013 at 4:26 am - Reply

    Resting in that dark place and praying for you tonight, Rachel.

  8. Heather Caliri September 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Mercy, lord, mercy.

  9. Rachel Pieh Jones
    Rachel Pieh Jones September 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Thanks all, for your lovely, comforting, burden-sharing comments. You are each light-bearers.

  10. Shay September 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I have been thinking about you, your family and wondering if your kids are okay – safe. I’m glad they are safe, and I’m heartbroken for those who are not or those who have witnessed this horrible tragedy. Hugging you from afar.

    • Rachel Pieh Jones
      Rachel Pieh Jones September 25, 2013 at 6:10 am - Reply

      Oh Shay. Just reading this made you appear for an instant in my room and I got teary. Thank you. Feeling it.

  11. Terrorists and the Unshakable Kingdom September 25, 2013 at 8:06 am - Reply

    […] are few words in times like this, only whispers in the dark, candles barely flickering. No one I personally know was injured or killed. I am still spared […]

  12. […] And from Monday: Whispers in the Dark […]

  13. […] The movie shows hardship but also beauty, disease and medical progress, violence and those who fight for peace. One of my favorite scenes is of two women pounding grain together – hard work and they are laughing. This is Somalia, Somaliland. So much stronger than al-Shabaab, so much more enduring than famine and terrorism. […]

  14. […] their faces and conjure their voices and sometimes a darkness sweeps in carrying with it all of the terrible awful things that could happen to them. I shut down the scary images and force light to cover the darkness and […]

  15. […] felt just as helpless last October when news broke that Westgate Mall in Nairobi, a mall near where my daughter and son are at boarding school, was under attack by al-Shabaab […]

  16. […] What can I say now? […]

  17. […] I’m finding it hard to breathe. […]

  18. […] the Westgate shopping mall attack in Kenya in 2013, I can barely go to the grocery store without wondering if this is when I die, […]

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