The mothers of Kabul
Publish date 23-12-2021
Among the images from Kabul I cannot forget the dramatic sequences of mothers throwing their babies over the airport fence, into the arms of American soldiers. They do not know to whom they entrust them, they do not know what will become of those children who perhaps they will no longer see, yet they do not linger in the extreme gesture of those who want to save the most precious asset.
They choose the difficult path of detachment to offer their children the possibilities that they have not had and, in any case, they are certain to launch them towards a better life. These women have started a process of emancipation, they have known the freedom to choose for themselves and for their children and now they experience the desperation of going back, closed not only in their clothes but in the same possibility of expressing themselves, of being what they are. , closed in cultural and religious constraints, closed in fear.
Why did we abandon them while they were finding their way? Why did we leave them alone? After opening the way for them, what guarantees do we offer so that their beginning of freedom is not repressed in violence? Painful questions that are unanswered for now. Pain that cannot melt in proximity, in help given to some of them. Maybe the Afghans didn't want to fight with guns, but many of them, many women fought living their new life as free people and now they can't be left alone! The thought of so many who have lost hope, of so many abandoned in the hands of their persecutors, fills the silence and even prayer becomes one with their cry of pain.
In these days, prayer follows those unknown faces and makes them present, familiar to us. The words of the psalm (35.17) that we pray become their voice, the voice of all the oppressed that rises to God through us: «How long, Lord, will you be watching? Free my life from their violence, my only good from the lions' fangs. " It is not God who causes so much evil, it is not he who wants it, not even when his name is used to do it. God is not pleased with evil (Ps 5: 5).
God is Father and is moved like a mother for his children who suffer. The prayer that pleases him is that we turn to him as Jesus taught us, calling him Father. God listens to the prayer of Jesus who looks at the suffering of the people of him and is moved and repeats and continues to repeat: "Come to me, all you who are tired and oppressed, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28).
A gaze that follows the weakest but then extends to everyone, even to the torturers who crucified him: "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34).
And it is in this great prayer of Jesus that ours is inserted. Little by little our heart also expands, it becomes a heart of flesh, capable of suffering-with: “Pitying is knowing how to truly put yourself in the other's shoes; the wounded, the disappointed, the betrayed… with love and responsibility ”reminds us of our rule. Thus, little by little gestures of good take shape, attention to people, willingness to welcome. The ability to love and the sense of responsibility grows. To be with Jesus is to seek ways of peace, of coexistence, of dialogue, of justice.
In the Arsenals that have been transformed into places of peace, we are constantly reminded of this: goodness is disarming. Even in these days, prayer for the Afghan people anticipates gestures of fraternity, which will be realized when and how it will be possible, increases the desire to be close to the victims of violence, prepares all forms of welcome. Before even knowing what we can do for the girls, for the Afghan women and their children, let us bring them in prayer so that God, the Father of all, may open ways for their steps to freedom.
Praying with Jesus, like him, with him, sets in motion the good that is in us and extends it to the whole of humanity, erasing any distinction between near, far, Italian, foreign ... It enables us to work because the kingdom of May God extend over the earth and in the history of persons, peoples, nations. The images of Kabul women and their children remind us of this. And the Gospel reminds us that being with Jesus is always being on the side of the oppressed.
NP Agosto-Settembre 2021