June 23, 2021
After twenty years, our troops are leaving Afghanistan. For obvious reasons, the CIA does not keep detailed records on all of its activities, lest that information fall into the wrong hands. This means that nationals who were loyal to our cause were paid in cash and their names were never listed on a database. Yet, they worked for our side, took risks, and in some cases, saved some of our lives. Now, this looks like it is going to make them enemy #1 in their own country. The sad reality is that the Taliban will, more than likely, take over the country and will hunt for and execute any person who was helpful to our troops. In order to secure the help of these people, we not only had to pay them well, but in many cases, we had to promise them safe passage out of the country if a situation like this ever unfolded.
Imagine that you were an intelligence officer. You secured the help of an Afghani and you, with good faith, promised him/her that he/she and his/her family would be safely deported to the U.S. if that was ever necessary. It is now necessary and your friend has asked you for your help. But there is no paperwork proving that your friend helped our side, and with the looming deadline for our troops to leave, the department that handles these requests is overwhelmed and simply cannot process all of them in time. One of life’s deepest griefs has to be the fact that you cannot save the life of someone who helped save yours.
I do not have a solution for this situation. It is part of the reality of our fallen world. I do not think that staying longer in Afghanistan will change anything. We can’t stay there forever. If we stay, we need helpers. If we leave, the helpers are in trouble. It comes down to this. 1) We can’t stay. 2) If we leave, people we love will get hurt.
This Sunday, our text is 2 Peter 3:1-7, where Peter addresses the scoffers who challenge the idea of the return of Christ. Of course, these scoffers are people who are only living for this life. The idea of accountability to Christ terrifies them, so they pretend as if it would never happen. But, for us, the return of Christ is one of our deepest longings and most anticipated event. When we stop our pursuits of trivia and distractions and really consider the realities of this life, then the idea of Christ’s return is glorious. No longer will we face conundrums or situations where we could not do what we wanted to do or promised to do. Can you imagine your new reality where there is no longer any possibility of an outcome that is bad? Every day we are one day closer.
Sunday’s text: 2 Peter 3:1-7