As I write this article, we are a few days into the unprovoked Russian attack on Ukraine. I have been watching coverage of this unbelievable war while I am in Colorado caring for my brother after his surgery. Being out of my regular environment, and experiencing a blast of winter that has been especially harsh for the northern part of the state, have added to the surreal nature of this week. I have pondered a long time over the words I would write to you. Are there ever enough words to help us process the impossible? My heart aches for the people of Ukraine, as well as for the people of Russia who have long personal and cultural history with both countries. I have been angry and dismayed at the hubris and toxic delusion that have fueled an unwarranted military attack on an independent country.
But like the rest of the world, I have been touched and inspired by the courage and indomitable spirit of the Ukrainian people, as they have left their homes, taken up arms, given their lives, and stood in defiance against their aggressor. We’d all like to think that we would have the bravery to put ourselves in front of an enemy tank as it entered our city. We’d all like to speak, when faced with the unthinkable, words of eloquence and passion that lifts others in solidarity.
There is a reason that these expressions of courage touch us deeply---our souls leap to meet the very best of human nature when it is seen. But we don’t need to be faced with extreme situations in order for courage, inspiration, and conviction to come forward in us. Large acts point us toward small acts that are equally important in advancing the good of all humanity. In fact, those small acts honor those who inspired them in us. Let us honor the people of Ukraine.
And, of course, pray. I say this, not as an afterthought, but as the foundation of anything else that we do. We pray for protection, safety, shelter, comfort---all the basic human needs. But we also pray with confidence in the intangible quality of Oneness that touches distant hearts, even if they don’t know from whence the prayer came. We pray knowing that the current chaos is not a permanent condition, that the Great Spirit is as present there on distant borders as it is right here, in the quiet of our hearts. We hold that peace, that comfort, that order, for those who are displaced and in harm’s way, as they await the next steps in their disrupted lives. We stand with God. We stand with Ukraine.
Much love and many blessings,