Ukraine Dilemma

Last night Patty and I watched “The Hiding Place” about the ten Boom family who hid Jewish folks from the Nazis and paid for it with their lives — Corried ten Boom being the only family member who survived Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. The movie showed how a family with strong relationships with Jesus responded to the Nazis and the horrors of the death camps.

After Patty went to bed, I began to watch “On the Beach” — a 1959 movie. It showed the aftermath of a nuclear war: the eventual death of the entire world’s population.

Before WWII, people watched as Hitler took over Europe with a powerful war machine. Until Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had no interest in fighting against the Nazi plague in Europe. They only read the newspaper reports of the murder of men, women, and children. Their response was conveniently pacified, being unattached, unaffected, and safely uninvolved.

I couldn’t sleep last night, waking after only a couple hours.

I’m torn between two: Pacifism in the light of Eternity or Militancy in the light of our temporal existence.

Ninety percent of my immediate family live within a 50 mile radius of five major targets in a nuclear war. One modern nuclear weapon would bring death and destruction to at least a 500 mile radius.

We cannot do enough regarding the Ukraine War Putin has brought to today’s world. President Biden has probably chosen the wisest path. But it is an awful feeling to just stand by and watch as death envelops the people with so much death, rape, and destruction. Providing food and shelter seems so minimal.

I am torn.

Whenever we use the knee jerk reaction, “thoughts and prayers,” but continue to give no further thoughts and no prayers, it becomes a trite and meaningless practice of self-soothing delusion.

Donations of food, clothing, and housing for all the refugees is a good thing.

WWIII is not.

I am, however, still torn.

I am old and not very healthy. So, it would be easy for me to say, “War!” But what about my grandchildren and yours?

Approaching the situation as entertainment with the vulgarity of comedy or whatever is helping us to avert our eyes to the tragedy; oversaturation of news reports, numbing the mind can have the same effect: making ordinary and commonplace what is the extraordinary and exceptional calamity of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

I am torn. But I force myself to look and look and look until reality sets in.

The Bible forewarns about such evil days as these. It doesn’t make it any easier. People do such great evil to people. Why doesn’t this drive us to pray, to lament, to call on the Lord? False pride? Cynicism? It’s more convenient to scatter the blame everywhere? I don’t understand.

I am torn.

Patty and I will still keep donating money through certified charitable organizations. But we will not sacrifice our children’s lives on the altar of war. War in this nuclear age is not a viable option.

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between