Don’t Look Away!

Don’t Look Away!

When I think of how heartbreaking it is to view the devastation wrought by Putin upon the people of Ukraine I hasten to remind myself of how horrific and dehumanizing it must be to experience it first- hand.  As much as it disturbs my peace to look at dead bodies of men, women and children littering the roads and to hear the stories about mass graves and the bombing of hospitals and civilian refuges, I realize that I must not look away! The images are haunting and I want to dispel them from my consciousness because they grieve my spirit so completely—but I cannot and must not look away.

It is so important that we all keep our minds focused on these atrocities for many reasons.  History tells us that, when people of good will looked away during the Holocaust, millions of innocent people were murdered before the Allies finally brought pressure to bear on Adolf Hitler.  It is gut-wrenching to note that his rise to power was facilitated by the “church” in Germany.  Likewise, the Russian Orthodox “church” is supporting the agenda that Putin is promoting.  Some of our Evangelical friends have pontificated that the Holocaust was a judgment by God visited upon the Jewish people.  Some of the rest of us feel that the judgment rests upon those who perpetrated the genocide and those who watched it and did nothing to prevent it.

This is why I can’t turn away.  As much as I want to; and as much as I realize I cannot let it consume me, I cannot avert my gaze.  If I look away it begins to feel distant and less real.  It becomes easier to leave the solutions in the hands of others as I go about my daily routine.  The helplessness I feel to effect change in this ungodly circumstance begins to diminish and I cease to strive to think of what I—as just one person—could do to fight this injustice.

So I don’t turn away.  On this day in which we acknowledge the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I am reminded of his words: “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere”.  This sentiment is never more profound than in this moment.  I could tell myself that there is enough injustice going on in my neighborhood, in my community, and in my country to warrant my full attention.  Instead, I ascribe to King’s words and prayerfully consider what I could do.

The president of Ukraine implored us during the Grammy’s last night just to do whatever we can to help. So I can give; and I will.  I can write; and I am.  I can pray.  Pray that He who parted the Red Sea will open a pathway to allow the Red Cross and other organizations to get to people who are starving, dehydrated, and dying.  That a blanket of protection might fall upon the brave men and women who are risking their lives to report the truth so that the world cannot look away.  I pray that, although Putin will surely join Hitler in the lowest rungs of Hell, that our leaders are given the clarity of thought and the intestinal fortitude to find a way to break his back and reinforce the steel in the backbone of the brave people of Ukraine.

As for you, Dear Ones who have labored through this long post, I would just implore you:  Do Not Look Away!

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