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We care--but not that much  

I should never have clicked the link that came with the headline.

I’m talking about the images of Zaki Anwari the 17-year-old soccer player determined to leave Afghanistan hanging on to a C-17. Capable of flying two M1A2 Abrams battle tanks, or 16 Humvees, the plane's belly swelled with passengers desperate to evacuate. You’ve seen the photos.

Zaki clutched at the landing gear with a gritty resolve as the transport accelerated to 50, then 100, then 120 miles per hour. Just a few hundred feet into the air, Zaki lost his grip. Nor was he the only one to die this way.

As awful as that is, I’m wondering if many of us who call ourselves Christ-followers are guilty of a very personal war crime. We’re able to feel sympathy for that boy—and others like him. But we are strangely unable or unwilling to go much further and engage this tragedy on a spiritual level.

We care—but not that much.

  • Not enough to hold personal—let alone—national prayer gatherings.
  • Not enough to ask what relief efforts might need our financial support.
  • Not enough to resist seeing this as a geopolitical crisis that “was bound to happen at some point.”

That is a crime.

If you’ve seen the video sequence of Zaki’s fall, you’ll note that “all” we see is a black speck tumbling to earth. But Zaki wasn’t a speck. He had a soul. As do every single one of Afghanistan’s people. Shouldn’t that somehow soften our hard hearts?

Let’s stop seeing this as mere fodder for office banter. Let’s stop seeing politics and start seeing people.

When He gasped for breath hanging on those splintered beams, Jesus had the faces of Afghans in mind. How do I know? "God so loved the world."

Why shouldn’t we?

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016