Leaving A Trail of Hope

by - 7:53 PM



What do you do on the days when a student comes in with a heavy heart because his village has been taken over by the Taliban and his parents are stuck there? What do you do when one of your girls has gone missing because her family doesn't want her to continue school? What do you say when your driver's relative has been killed by a blast? What do you do when 2 million people are facing a spring and summer without harvest because of the drought? What do you do when your driver doesn't turn up because he's stuck in a fighting zone while on his way? These absurd realities are what's happening in Afghanistan daily. The news can barely keep up with what is actually going on. I write this because I recall the Afghan proverb that says, “when the elephants fight, the grass gets trampled”.

While nations war and terrorist networks send their deceived pawns to play someone else’s game, the weak and widowed suffer and children of the next generation lose their identity. While self-seeking men tussle for ill-gotten power, the powers of darkness cheer gleefully at their division.

The words of Jesus never fail to offend my sensibilities and yet arrest my heart with wonder: "Love your enemies. Love your neighbour as you love yourself. Do good to those who persecute you." What? Is that possible in this world that promotes the very opposite?

What would happen if we took his words seriously? Perhaps, like those brave souls before us, we will die. But will our death be in vain if our actions have overturned hatred through self-giving, and with glaring light shine against darkness? Won’t it leave a trail of Hope for those who are looking for such an example to follow but have never seen it before? So, is the only way to secure ‘peace’ through the might of guns, bombs, and money, or one of those useless ‘peace talks’ that are often a farce anyway because most of the time, behind the scenes, the peace-talkers are really simply preparing for war? I beg to differ. There's a better way. And while I live, I pray to be bold to embody it.

When in Afghanistan, you cannot escape these thoughts because without them, your inner convictions will crumble. 

[Cover Photo: AP Source, Artlords painting in Kabul, Afghanistan]

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Welcome to my wayfaring world of stories. My name is Janielle and I’m a traveling musician and music educator from Melbourne living in Kabul, Afghanistan. Join me on my quest to embrace people of peace in tough places, inspire creative education where none exists, spark spiritual conversations that challenge the status quo, and collaborate with like-minded young people to catalyze a mission of peacemaking through acts of compassion and creativity among the young and free. As a nomad at heart, my ‘home’ is wherever I journey with people on the ground and discover life on the frontiers.