A C-17 military transport plane is huge. One of the first ones flying rescued Afghans out of the country after the fall of Kabul was jammed with refugees far in excess of the normal load. Every one of them was desperate. As it turns out these were the lucky ones who happened to get to the airport in front of the massive waves of other desperate people fleeing fearing for their lives. In the moment this picture was taken none of the refugees had any idea that the pilots of that plane in that moment of desperation chose to ignore military protocol and took off without explicit permission from the chain of command.
Within the military the chain of command is honored to help ensure order within many contexts in which chaos is breaking out in all directions. In our own personal lives we can suddenly find ourselves unexpectedly living through circumstances that are chaotic, not in accord with what we hope for from life, and unexpected. Suddenly in the blink of an eye it can seem as though we are refugees, the ones on the outside of community resources, and without recourse in a clear understanding of how to regain a sense of order within our lives.
Because we have all been touched by such circumstances this creates within us the possibility of understanding that others also suffer unexpectedly. As we open our hearts to this realization we may become a source of God’s grace and redemptive love for others.
From The Message Romans 8: 26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
I love this translation. We give our hearts and our lives to God as our expression of love for the shared gift of life. In the lives of so many people around our world these are teetering moments of fear, loss, and very real tensions. May we all be mindful and filled with resolve to love in ways that make a difference. God’s grace and love and wisdom is also ours to share with an open heart. We pray that our nation can be doing everything possible to secure the safety of countless persons in Afghanistan hoping for a way out to safety. We pray not only for the Americans still caught within that nation’s borders at this moment, but we also pray with those who assisted in this struggle for a better future in that nation.