27th August 2021

As a professional linguist, words don’t often fail me. But the sheer enormity of events in Afghanistan and the terrible scenes from Kabul airport leave me unable to formulate a neatly packaged ‘thought’ for a day that is quite likely to see the last British evacuation flight leaving that desperate land. There is a dreadful sense, not just of helplessness, but also of complicity, as we ask ourselves what more western governments could / should have done. And all the signing of petitions to demand government action and help for refugees, the donations to charities better placed to offer direct help, feel such a puny response. I can only echo the entreaty Rachel made on Sunday, to pray as we have never prayed before, remembering that ‘in the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words’. Romans 8: 26.

Debbie Pinfold