This is a fiction story loosely based on actual events and a friend’s struggle to find peace.
It felt like a giant slapped my ears with both hands, my ears were ringing as I turned and saw two men lying on the ground. “Sami,” I called to my counterpart, “Medic,” I yelled over the commotion. Sami was the nickname of an Afghan soldier that had been training with us for months.
“What happened,” I asked one of the guys from my team.
“Sir, while you were talking to the sheik this police officer,” he was motioning to the Afghan police officer lying on the ground, “pulled his pistol and pointed it at your back. Sami moved between you and the pistol just in time to catch the bullet. Almost simultaneously, I shot the guy with the pistol,” Jason said.
Sami and I had spent a lot of time talking in the months before this event. We were able to communicate on a deeper level than I could with other Afghan soldier because of his ability to speak English. Sami was a dedicated Muslim and I a God Fearing Christian. We were both open and excepting of each other’s religions and cultures to a point but there was always a sort of, convert and change your ways undertone in each of our arguments.
That day changed everything for me. I spent a lot of time thinking about Sami’s selfless act. Here’s a guy that took a bullet for me; he died so I could live. According to my beliefs he was doomed for eternity. Sami was a good man, a loving father, devoted to his prayers and always had a smile on his face. Why should he be doomed? His beliefs were based on the love he was shown as a child, what he was born into. That’s how I developed my beliefs, from my parents, I had never challenged it. I couldn’t accept this anymore.
Look at North Korea. It’s my understanding that the Kim’s, North Korea’s leaders, are presented as divine entities. North Koreans are required to bow to a picture of the Kim’s every day and they have virtually no connection with the outside world. It is conceivable that a North Korean could live his entire life without hearing the names of Jesus, Muhammad, or Buddha. Does that mean that they failed their one chance at life? Are they going to burn for eternity just because of where they were born? Again, I can’t accept this.
I have quit organized religion. I read the bible, Quran, Bhagavad Gita and countless books on meditation and prayer. I was infatuated with all the different understandings of a higher power, all the great books that bring millions of people to a religion and the vast differences in interpretations of each of these books and their scriptures. Now that I have loosened my grip on one solid belief my relationship with myself has improved, my relationships with family and friends has improved. I can’t tell you I have the answers but I have found a peace that I did not know before.
“Thanks Sami, I wish you could see me now!”
A respons to the Daily Prompt: In Good Faith