“I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God!” (Ps 3:7-8). When we read the Scriptures, we come across such phrases as this one from the Psalm.
The Psalms, indeed, have many of such. This is because although there is much goodness, kindness, compassion, love etcin the world, there is likewise much evil and wickedness. While striving to be good, we must beware of the wickedness around us, and look to the Lord.
“Kileeme” is a reality
The song “Kileeme” is basically a reflection on this reality. We cannot change it, but we can live with it. Jesus himself said the wheat and the weed will grow together (Matt. 13:24-30).
We have seen what people can do to others. Perhaps, anyone reading this might have a personal experience they have suffered, due to the wickedness of others. Some of these stories are gruesome and painful, even when we have not been victims.
Man is a wolf to man. This rough translation of the Latin proverb “homus homini lupus” goes as far back as the 5th-century playwright Plautus. It is, therefore, a subject of which many treated throughout history. Nevertheless, beyond just adding to history’s contribution, “Kileeme” as a local relevance.
The Proverbial Locust
The Nso’ people have a proverb that says: “Yii kfə́r ŋguùmé sí vitú vév”. Its literal meaning is that only locusts feed on themselves. A proverb like this is used in a situation where a human being is destroying another. And there are many ways in which this happens.
This proverb in Lamnso’ corresponds to the Latin proverb earlier mentioned. People are mean to others. The world is more and more seeming to be starved of love, care, mutual support, affection. And sometimes those who try to live out these values come across as the odd ones. Undeniably, the oddity ought to be at the other end.
“Kileeme” asks us to be cautious. We cannot be too careful, be we ought to be careful and smart. Paraphrasing the beginning of the song gives us something like this: watch where you are standing, where you are going, look before you leap, and take care too that those around you are safe.
Even devoted followers of Christ must remember what he said when sending them out the 72 on a mission: “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves” (Lk 10:3). These went sent out “two by two” (Lk 10:1). This is a curious thing to note, that Jesus sent them out in pairs.
Hence, it is not only about each person watching out for themselves. We ought to take care too for the other. Maya Angelou, an American memoirist, popular poet, and civil rights activist, said that as you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
Look to God
Only God can fully protect us and take care of us. This was the basic attitude of those who suffered in their relationship with God, including in the Scriptures. Without a doubt, it has been the attitude even of the martyrs, the faithful friends of God, who have stayed close to this friendship at the cost of their lives.
We do all sorts of insurance, and put various ways of security around us; some more, others less. Yet, “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain” (Ps 127:1b). We ought to remember God as “Kileeme” says, and then be unafraid. For, it is not a spirit of fear that we received, but that of power, as the holy apostle Paul instructs. (Cfr. 2Tim. 1:7).
One simple aid is to constantly invoke the angels, especially our guardian angel. The short prayer to the guardian angel which we learned as children, might often look too basic or simple. Even so, it is such a powerful invocation of the protective presence of God around us. It is part of the mission of God’s angels.
May God continue to watch over us, take care of us, and protect us from all physical and spiritual dangers that we face. May he be gracious to us, show us his face, and grant us peace.