I am reading former President Barak Obama’s book titled “A Promised Land.” In the book President Obama recounts his experience witnessing the return of the bodies of 15 U.S. soldiers “killed in back-to-back incidents in Afghanistan.” He talks about how he believed it was important for him to witness the somber return in person and ensure that (with the consent of the families), the return was publicly shared to show Americans the true cost of war. When President Obama expressed condolences to family members on such occasions, they appeared shell-shocked.
As I go about my day, attempting to manage my daily tasks, the war in the Ukraine is never far from my thoughts. I don’t ever watch scary movies. When I go to the movies and if unexpected graphic images appear, I immediately cover my eyes like I have done since I was a young child. They stay covered until my husband or some other movie companion gives me the all clear. Something within me instinctively acts to protect me from emotional discomfort. Bloody, frightening images send my mind reeling and upset my inner spirit for days on end. When I see the images, I have a hard time not inserting myself into the scene and thereby suffering some horrible injury or death. There would be nothing I could do about it. I know it’s coming. No one is coming to save me. It happens, and life slowly drains from my body. The big movie screen of life notes “The end” and I will cease to be. Try as I might, there is no escaping the atrocities committed in the Ukraine since the invasion in February of this year. This act of aggression by Russia has served to displace over 4.1 million Ukrainians. Life as they knew it will be no more. My adult mind can’t comprehend it. I can’t imagine what damage has been done to young children caught in this hell. Both the ones in Ukraine and the young ones in Russia whose parent or loved one has to fight in the war.
Reportedly, to date over 15,000 Ukrainians have been killed. I read an update the other day which noted that Russian soldiers were raping Ukrainian women in front of their young children. Never thought there was a way to make the act of rape worse, but this image just keeps playing in a loop in my mind. And so, I continue to do what I have done as soon as my feet hit the floor each morning. I pray the following prayer, without fail:
Dear Lord, Please let the war in Ukraine end. Let peace return and let lives be spared. Let Brittney Griner be released. Today. You are a God of miracles and can do the impossible. This is my prayer. Amen.