Thursday, May 7, 2009

Here's what's happening in our world... (Another open letter to Mr. and Mrs. Christian)

Dear Cousin Christian,

It’s been a while since I last wrote to you regarding the state of our world. At times I feel like throwing my hands up in exasperation and declaring loudly to the world that we’ve failed. Who’s “we” you ask? I’m talking about you and I. Us. We who claim to be Christ’s representatives on earth to a hurting world, that’s who “we” is. Have you looked around lately? No, I mean really looked? No? Well here’s what’s happening in our world even as we purchase our Venti Vanilla/ Carmel Macchiatos. Here’s what’s going on while we revel in our acute global nescience.

Taliban fighters have stormed and taken over the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Their objective: Convert the entire valley to Sharia law whether they like it or not. Their methods: Torture, rape, murder, and wanton destruction. According to Hajji Karim, a 55-year-old bus driver, when the Taliban fighters first entered his village last month, they said they had come to bring peace and Islamic law. The next day two of the fighters attempted to slit the throat of a policeman. Karim’s conclusion: “What sort of people have come here? And what kind of Sharia is this? Cutting off people’s heads has nothing to do with Islam. The people are filled with great rage, and great fear.” Sher Mohammed, a property dealer, stated “I feel like I have lost my mind, I work hard to make a respectable life and educate my children. Now we are living in a camp, and my sons are talking of guns.” This, my friends, is the real world. The world into which Jesus sent us as lambs among wolves. While the Taliban enervate the people of the Swat Valley, we act as if the biggest problem in the world is the fact that the US economy is unstable, and consequently might affect our ability to upgrade our lifestyles.

Here’s one final snapshot from the relief agency office in Islamabad. On Wednesday, two teenage sisters huddled on a flour sack next to a few cooking pots, covering their faces with veils. They had fled their village four days earlier after their father was warned that the Taliban were coming. “I don’t know what the Taliban are, but everyone was very afraid. I am very worried because my father went back to get my brothers, and we don’t know what happened to him” said one of the girls. How devastating is that? This is not some temporary separation caused by an airline foul-up, this is real life tragedy. So, cousin, incase you’re wondering why I think it’s important that you know this, here’s why: A spokesperson for a private relief agency based in Swat said, “People in Swat are angry and confused… we are trying to provide them with decent shelter and support, but we need more help so they won’t fall into Taliban hands.” What can you do? You can go, you can give, and you can pray. That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “I’m sending you out as lambs among wolves…”

3 comments:

Ash said...

the stories of people, of these people bring tears to my eyes. you're right. you're very right.

Tracia Bussey said...

Amen brother! We(especially American Christians)are clueless about reconciling a lost world to God. I believe this is only the beginning of being awakened from slumber. My question for some time now has been, "Is our church at a place that if tomorrow, a padlock was put on the door, would the believers who once worshipped there still continue in the faith?"

Joseph said...

Ash, let's keep living as if their lives depended on our compassion because they actually do in many instances.

Tracia, welcome to the conversation. Your question is poignant and pointed. My fear is that the answer might not be what we hope it would.