Voice and Vision

One Woman's WORDS AND WORKS •grapple •inspire •liberate

22: Afghanistan

Whether you’ve been reading The New York Times or The Washington Post or watching CNN or other news coverage of the evacuation of US military families and their Afghan allies and their families–translators, staff, contractors, NGO workers, support helpers, guides, assistants to our military, etc.–your heart–though not to the depth of theirs–has likely been broken many times in recent weeks.

In our comfortable homes with plenty of food and water, it is impossible to put ourselves in the sandals of those desperately trying to flee Afghanistan. In 90-degree heat they stand for days, young children in tow, waiting to get on a plane that may never come for them. They are suffering. They helped us fight terrorism and for that their lives may be lost. The torturous Taliban knows no kindness, preferring to chop off their enemies’ heads, to enslave girls, to deprive women of education and the simplest of freedoms. What can we do about such a hopeless situation?

Certainly we can pray. We can also act. We can join those who are attempting to help. For example, the International Rescue Committee is one I’ve just sent a small check to. UNICEF also has a specific project to help Afghans as do the Quakers, Catholics, and others. Find one that suits you. Give, even if you have but a widow’s mite (see Mark 12: 41-44 and Luke 21: 1-4). It is why we exist: to help one another.

Christ Jesus speaks in Matthew 25: ” I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was lonely and you made me welcome. I was naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you came and looked after me. I was in prison and you came to see me there.” But those listening responded:  ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you lonely and make you welcome, or see you naked and clothe you, or see you ill or in prison and go to see you?’ ‘I assure you that whatever you did for the humblest of my brothers you did for me.’ (J.B. Phillips translation).

I have no more to say this week. It is giving that matters. Just do it.

About the artwork:  Seated Nude, matted, approx14″ x 18″ For decades I’ve drawn and painted the human figure, using models both professional and whomever was willing. This model was especially professional. The pose suggests that in spite of her nakedness, oppression, and her lack of freedoms under patriarchal domination, woman maintains her calm courage.

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