Garang found himself in a refugee camp in Kenya, crowded and desperate with people who ran away from their lives, for their lives. He and throngs of refugees huddled in tents and under tarps, clinging wide-eyed to their meager remaining possessions and to any hope they could find. Their country, Sudan, was being overrun by their own central government when he was nine and civil war broke out. His hometown had become the front lines, and, with that, life as he formerly knew it was never to be again.
Fidel Castro shopped the refugee camp like a flea market hoping to find castaway treasure and re-purpose it for his own use, and 600 Sudanese boys who had fled their homes in search of refuge found themselves culled into communist indoctrination via Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Garang learned communist ideology systematically and was soon able to repeat memorized passages from Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, and Che Guevara.
He was well on his way to a whole new belief system when his school teacher suddenly shared the gospel with him. He balked at these Christian ideas that were contrary to his communist teaching until he was unable to refute them. He wrestled, but in the end, could not deny their truth. At last his belief gave way to the truth.
At some point you have to know that what you know is true. Eventually there must be something to sink our teeth into if we are going to eat, survive, and carry on in life. Truth sustains us.
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so, as a writer, I hold myself up to the scrutiny of others and look for truth in their subjective evaluation. I wait and hope that someone will tell me what to believe: that I am a writer.
When they do, it’s contrary to my prior thinking, and I wrestle until I find it undeniably true. At last, belief gives way to truth. When opinion is not enough, the truth is.
Day 2: Believe