At first I regretted seeing so many images from the US evacuation of Afghanistan. My head could handle the information and I could act through prayer and donations. However, my heart was struggling with the haunting images. The image of a parent passing his baby over razor wire to soldiers that he didn’t even know, in hopes of saving his baby’s life even if he could not save his own. The people falling from airplanes as they clung to the outside of the plane in desperation. Even now the tears come. The video of one little 10 year old girl after she and her brother made it to safety inside the airport, but who suddenly was brought to tears as they shared that they didn’t know if their parents had made it to safety. The lives lost, both military and civilians who died at the hands of a suicide bomber. The images haunted me. Part of me thought, I should have never looked at all the images and read all the stories. No I didn’t, wish I had buried my head in the sand, but I did wish I had not seen so many images that brought such grief to my heart.
Then Sunday came. My husband Michael and I went to church. Our Pastor, Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Southlake, TX was finishing up on his series entitled Good News. His last message was on death. I highly recommend all the messages in this series.
Even before the sermon, as we sang in worship to God, I started to see the images again. However, in that place, in the atmosphere of God’s Presence, I began to pray. Worship is loud enough there that I don’t think anyone heard me. As I sang I realized that I had brought each and every person that I had seen in those troubling images into that church with me, into His Presence with me and I began to pray for each and every one of them and all the people that they represent. I asked the King of the Universe to intervene.
Then the message on the bad news, sad news, and good news regarding death ministered to my heart and my mind. At the end of every message, Pastor Robert has us bow our heads, close our eyes and ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying to us through today’s message. I bowed my head. I closed my eyes. I asked the Holy Spirit, “What are you saying to me today?” Then came His response.
“They are with Me.”
I felt like He was talking about those that had perished, but at the same time, I felt like He also meant that those still in that horrific situation are also with Him or more so that He was with them.
I will continue to pray for those in Afghanistan and to pray for our leaders as the Bible instructs us. I will carry them with me into His Presence. Place them in His hands and trust Him. Then I will do whatever else He instructs me to do.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For You are with me….” Psalm 23:4, NKJV