KIDNAPPED BY THE TALIBAN
Many Americans were introduced to one of the stories of the Afghanistan war when they saw the 2014 CBS interview of Dr. Dilip Joseph regarding his experience and the book he had just written with James Lund, Kidnapped by the Taliban (Thomas Nelson Publishers). Dr. Joseph was the medical director for Morning Star Development, active in Afghanistan, serving locals with medical care and training.
Returning from a mission of mercy, Dr. Joseph and his party were captured by the Taliban and held for several days. Their captors kept them moving constantly, and they were in moment- by- moment fear of death. But Navy Seal Team 6- the same Navy Seal Team that tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden - rescued Dr. Joseph in a flurry of gunfire and shouting. Joseph was free from the threat of imminent death. Yet, in the rescue; Nicolas Checque, Seal extraordinaire, was killed.
Dr. Joseph commented, both in sorrow and in joy, "He died to save my life. It is hard to live with that idea that someone died for my sake."
We know what he feels and means. We, simply going about daily life and mission, were once captured by the father of the 'Taliban, the father of all lies and violence. Daily we walked in the valley of the shadow of death. But our Redeemer came, not with terrifying noises and loud voice, but in the quiet of a Calvary hour, with whispers of love and forgiveness.
Here, at his table, we remember that rescue. It is hard to live with the idea that someone had to die to save our lives. But someone did. And we both mourn his loss- because of our choices-and rejoice in his accomplishment - because of his grace. Here. Here at his table.
I love “standing at the cross” reverently and thankfully each week at the Lord’s table of grace and sensing God’s love.
Pastor Paul Leavens - Christian Church in Lindsay