One of my favorite scenes in the Dark Knight is when The Joker introduces himself to the mob – the I’m going to make this pencil disappear scene. The Joker tells the mob that their issues are because of Batman, and he offers himself for hire to kill Batman for half of their massive fortune. They laugh at and dismiss The Joker, but after Batman helps bust the mob, one mobster says this:
“I put word out. We hire the clown. He was right. We have to fix real problems: Batman.”
What was once was laughable became serious after all the normal options failed.
Tim Keller talks about this concept in his book Encounters With Jesus using an example we can all relate to.
“Once you’ve looked for [your misplaced keys] in all the places where they “can” be and haven’t found them, you’ll have to start looking in places where they “can’t” be. And of course, that’s where you’ll find them.”
After The Taliban retook Afghanistan, we need to start looking for our keys where they can’t be. Stay with me – I promise this isn’t a political post.
As a post-enlightenment society, we are striving for progress. We believe we can advance society to create equality and justice for all. This is why the fall of Afghanistan has been so disheartening. It’s not simply that horrific things are likely to happen under the Taliban’s oppressive militant government, it’s that the Taliban represent a step backward. We spent over two trillion dollars and lost thousands of lives across twenty years in Afghanistan in the name of progress, and all that progress feels to have vanished overnight – we aren’t any closer to finding the keys.
Our desires for progress, our dreams of a utopian society, aren’t bad, but we need to be honest about achieving these dreams. Even in America, darkness abounds – my co-worker was just telling me about being a juror for a sex trafficking of a minor trial here in Midland Texas.
We need to look for the keys where they “can’t” be because we haven’t been able to find them in the places that make sense. Even if you are skeptical of Christianity, maybe now is the time to come to Jesus with an open mind even if you think the Bible is an outdated and obscure book. Come and listen to Jesus’ words and read his stories. Come and see how his death shows how truly broken and dark this world is, but also come and hear about how his resurrection gives us hope that one day all things will be made new. Come and find that Jesus himself is the answer you’re looking for.