Anger is what’s at work here. I’m angry at Putin for invading, and in my anger I want to lash out. I need to let go of that anger in a healthy way, because it is not serving me. As I call myself back to my best self, a more appropriate feeling emerges: sadness. Sadness for the civilians being harmed; for the refugees; and for the soldiers on both sides fighting and dying.
Last Saturday we had a vigil for Ukraine at the Fellowship building, and the number of people who turned out was moving—familiar faces and total strangers, called to come out for a moment and witness the sadness, injustice, the human tragedy that is war.
My step-mother shared this blog post with me this week, written by a Unitarian Universalist peace activist. She reflects on being a young woman and asking her mom what she could do to counteract the war in Viet Nam. The answer surprised her:
I was to knit. Yep, knit. Explicitly, I was to knit baby blankets. Baby blankets for infants of Viet Cong mothers who were in hiding. Baby blankets that were to be knit of wool which would not ignite and cling to the skin of tiny babies like synthetic fibers; baby blankets that had to be knitted of the non-baby colors, the jungle colors, of black, gray, dark green, dark brown so they would be baby camouflage. I knit a lot of tears and prayers and hope into those blankets.
Ellen Dionna / www.susquehannamysteryschool.org
This is a reminder that we can all do something, even in the face of an unspeakable human catastrophe far away, such as this war. May we channel our energies toward doing what we can do, and be ready to contribute what we can in the way of healing and hope and refuge when we are called to do it.
Great Spirit, Energy that was here before humans and will endure to the end of time as we know it, look on us with your benevolent mercy. Help the human race to see the folly of war, help us to break the cycle of anger and retaliation. Bring peace and gentleness and generosity into our hearts.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
March 3, 2022