Springtime in Ukraine

Springtime in Ukraine

Springtime! —
A cascade of new blooms, pushing their way through the dark soil of winter; 
Bleak branches now ablaze with pink or white blossoms; 
Birds—excitedly sharing their anticipation of new life and hope in one melodious chorus of praise. 
Have we gotten the message yet? 
Winter has been winter defeated for one year more at least!

But, is this how my friends feel in that distant land— 
Searching for mementos in the rubble of past dreams;
Hastily stuffing photos of loved ones past and present into bulging bags as they
Hurriedly begin their harrowing escape to freedom? 
Or does the roar of gunfire drown out the birdsong?
Does the smoke of war dim the hues of springtime flowers? 
And fear!
Is it able to choke the promise of new life?

And back in the cities!
Are the tree lined avenues once more ablaze with white and pink blossoms?
Or are there any trees left at all?
Maybe just a few here or there—
Lone stragglers, 
Struggling for survival midst the smoke and fire of guns? 

And the people!
Oh yes, the people!
People like you and I
Who cannot or will not
Escape to friendly frontiers of fields and flowers!
Are they even aware 
Entombed in their basement shelters, 
That winter is over and the singing of the birds has come? 

These questions nag me,
Plague me,
Disturb me!
I do not know the answers,
For America is not and never will be Ukraine!

What can I do, then?
I cannot send the suffering ones gifts of Spring-hope wrapped up in pretty paper.
I have no power to dispel their winter of despair and death.
And so I simply pray, 
For no enemy can block a prayer by guns:
“Oh, God of all seasons and all lands,
Let the Springtime of hope’s resurrection  bloom once more in every anguished heart. 
Let each one feel, somehow:
That the Enemy cannot obliterate the seasons!
That the winter of hatred cannot forever swallow the hope of Spring!
That the God of resurrection and Eternal life has not been forced to flee to some other universe for safety.
Let this message reverberate:
Through every message winged their way,
Through every dollar sacrificed to relieve their suffering.
Through every stuttering, stammering prayer, uttered from anguished and love-torn hearts.” 

No, hatred!
No, fear!
No, death!
Try as you will, 
You cannot kill Spring-time, 2022!
The God of resurrection and Eternal Life has not been maimed by artillery fire.
He is not curtailed by sanctions,
Or roadblocks,
Or hostile frontiers.

Then take heart, 
Beloved, suffering ones! 
It’s Spring again—in Ukraine!
		—Trudy Harvey Tait.

Call Back

The Call Back series.   

If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back—
’Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith’s light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest’s roots were torn;
That when the heavens thundered and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.

O friend, call back and tell me, for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us, and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you’ll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you’ll say He saw you through the night’s sin-darkened sky— 
If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back—
’Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.
—Lettie B. Cowman.

Reading of saints who had to face uncertainty, trials and fears is so helpful in our present situation.  Today there are many conspiracy theories and end of time prophecies.  They have always arisen in times of trouble because our norms are are being eroded.  Keep yourself looking to Jesus and not distracted by other voices.  And most of all never lose your heart of compassion.  Yes, the suffering in Ukraine is real.  May we not turn a blind eye.  We are commanded to "Love one another," and also to, "be addicted to hospitality."  Never let the enemy steal your warmth of compassion for the suffering of others!  We can love righteousness and hate evil, we can praise and weep.  We need to do both!  Faith just as much as life, is practical and real so read about others who went through times like these and came out victorious.