It’s a quick trip between REM fog and jet lag as I glance at the time and see the notification. Seven hours separate the safety of my night from the terror of their day. Pictures have looped for three hours.
Deceptive fireworks scroll to faces of friends and dance a tango of fear that becomes mine just from knowing.
There’s an ocean and a continent, or ten, between us. I can’t help but feel the pull of deep injustice and frenetic fear when the woman’s face flashes again.
It’s bare and angled. Her eyes denying the chaos behind her as she calmly answers questions about why she’s on the Maiden.
The love of her country, of course, the hope for a different type of government. She stands strong and wears an ivory hat. Her face determined, but not angry. Her family she says, she wants a different life for them. A life with freedom.
She’s standing with birth pangs of revolution behind her but all I see is the calm in her face and I can’t check enough luggage or catch enough planes to span the distance between her reality and mine.
Adam McHugh says that writing is like a war, as you, your ideas, and your words all battle each other for supremacy.
The war to uncover the fray in my soul seems as unstable as her government and I can’t justify the comparison. I won’t try.
When injustice carves eyes on your soul, you’ll spend the rest of your life staring into the deep.
This morning, as the screen is bright and the house is dark, as they are waking to a reality I can’t begin to understand, I’ll continue to tell their story.
God is our Refuge and Strength, an ever present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains crumble into the heart of the sea. Though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not move. God will help her at the break of day.
Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms fall, but he lifts his voice and the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear. He burns the shields with fire.
He says “Be Still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress.
I memorized this chapter when my husband traveled to Mozambique in 2001. It’s one of my favorite passages in the Bible. While the verse Be still and know that I am God is well loved, I completely adore the reminder just before it.
He makes wars cease and breaks the bow. He shatters the spear and he burns the shields with fire.
It’s a picture of violent love and I’m reminded that God is fighting for me, countless unknown battles. The scriptural meaning of my name means Warrioress and the weight of that interpretation often feels as thick as smothering skin. The assurance that God is not a bystander in the battle for my heart is a cleansing breath for my soul.
A young Ukranian woman’s compelling plea for her country.