It is accurately said that pride goeth before a fall. Please make no mistake: What follows is not written out of pride, nor some desire to say, “See? I told you so.” Quite the opposite. I possess no special gift of prophecy. I have no access to inside information. I guess I have wits enough to survive — made it this far, anyway — but nothing much beyond that. Yet somehow I was able to predict a lot of what has happened in the last year or so.
Time is a funny thing. Well, no, time is time. Our perception of it is where things go haywire. We’re not very well equipped to comprehend the passage of time or its implications.
This episode, the Zippy Crew digs more deeply into the Afghan Crisis and hits on several topics related to religious persecution and faithfulness. For this week’s lighter side, we also wrap up our “Summer of the Miniseries” with last looks at Tinker, Tailor and WandaVision, including a look at a scene in WandaVision that helps us think about resurrection.
I join with our esteemed editor-in-chief in lamenting what has happened in Afghanistan. For the moment, I will leave the Christian reflection to him. For my part, I see the tragedy of Afghanistan as the unfortunate culmination of long-running battles in US politics, over US military involvement.
In a lot of places, your papers are everything. Which is why it was especially alarming to hear that Joe’s new best friends, the Taliban, have been seizing the passports of American citizens in Afghanistan. In the Mideast, as in some other parts of the world, your passport is your identity. Without it, you are at the mercy of those who might not have your best interests at heart. Seizure of your passport leaves you naked and vulnerable. Your comings and goings are now no longer your decision.
We can’t fix this world, but there’s hope from God — that’s a point the Zippy Crew comes back to time and again as we deal with huge geopolitical shakeups (Afghanistan), the experience of grief in our lives (and how WandaVision explores that grief) and hope found in the midst of Paul’s warnings against sin in 1 Corinthians 6. Alongside those topics, we also do a wrap up of the 2020 Summer Olympics and talk about the political machinations around two giant bills currently going through Congress.
What is there to say? Our country is governed by an ice-cream enthusiast who has combined the policies of Jimmy Carter with the presentation of Gerald Ford (if Ford had suffered rabies) along with his own diminished capacity — and he didn’t have that much capacity to begin with. In his speech Monday he sounded like that angry doddering guy on the front porch of the rest home who causes visitors to enter through the back door instead.
Reeling from the horrors of 9/11 two decades ago, we entered Afghanistan to eliminate terrorist camps and also try to build a better nation for the people who had been caught under the Taliban’s control. Was it hubris or hope to think we could lastingly accomplish either goal? I’ll leave that discussion for another day, but this week has reminded us of how even our greatest powers stumble.