I got up at around 3:30 AM this morning, unable to get back to sleep. It was mainly because of the current crisis in Ukraine. Russia has invaded Ukraine. I wonder if many of us will remember where we were and what we were doing when we found out that Russia invaded Ukraine? For us, it was sometime around 9:30 last night. I was listening to the light classical music channel on TV in our living room when Sena came up from downstairs where she had been watching the news and told me about it.
I switched to the TV news and saw two reporters, one based in the U.S. connected as part of the broadcast with another in Kyiv reporting on the shelling of the city. The reporter in Ukraine kept looking back over her shoulder at the city. She seemed distracted and distressed. The other reporter, based in the U.S., asked irritably, “What do the bombs sound like?” as though he were unhappy with her account of what was going on. She replied, just as irritably, “They’re loud!” I think she wanted to also say (as I did in my mind), “They sound like bombs and they’re scary; what do you think bombs sound like?”
I listend to various reporters talk about the attack. One of them commented that President Biden had said there would be no American soldiers actively engaging in combat in Ukraine. If they did, it would be “World War III.”
I thought of the other post I’d written for today. It’s just about a cribbage board in the shape of the state of Iowa that we got from Minnesota the day before yesterday. It came wrapped in a newspaper, probably the whole issue published about a month ago by the Morrison County Record in a town called Little Falls.
We just thought it was unusual that the cribbage board was shipped wrapped in newspaper; usually it’s those Styrofoam packing peanuts or bubble wrap. But this was like getting something from a friend or a family member who used the only thing handy to pack a gift.
I didn’t just toss the newspaper wrapping in the garbage, mainly because I enjoy reading actual printed material including books and newspapers. I was curious about it and so I found the article “In times like these” which I also described in the other post today, which is partly about a cribbage board in the shape of the state of Iowa. The article is a sermon, written by a local clergyman, Tim Sumner.
In it he talks about how difficult things are nowadays, that people are more divisive than he has ever seen. He mentioned the pandemic as a major contributor, but it’s easy to see how it could be applied more broadly now that major world powers seem to be moving toward war to feed what seems to be a hunger for empire-building.
Sumner, in accordance with his role as a clergyman, counsels us to turn to God. In view of the talk of World War III, it’s hard to disagree. Sumner asks, “Can things get worse?” It looks like it can.
I could find a lot of cribbage boards in the shape of single states in America. I could even find one of Middle Earth, believe it or not. But I couldn’t find one in the shape of the whole United States of America. Why?
It is “our understanding” that gets in the way. The way we see things is from our perspective. We want things our way. We don’t want to have to go through difficult times. We want life to be easy.
Maybe that’s true. He says trusting God is the way to respond to this. We could do that. And while we’re waiting for God to respond to us, what else could we do?