The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
I am one of those people who still prefer to get their news in print from a daily newspaper with occasional forays into TV news and online newspapers. No matter your source of the day’s happenings today, you cannot avoid reading/seeing about the struggles of the people of Ukraine. Our hearts are heavy and our prayers for them continue.
As I see pictures, in print and on screen, of people fleeing their homes and homeland with only a suitcase or two, it makes me sad—and I think of hunger, too. There is no extra hand to carry a lunch bag, especially when many of the women are clutching the hand(s) of their children. How important and lifegiving it must be for these people to reach relative safety and find a welcome smile and perhaps a sandwich or bowl of hot soup.
All refugees experience hunger. Ukrainian refugees are not only hungry, but cold and certainly frightened. Many have left behind loved ones, especially husbands and fathers, to face what war will bring. Many know that their homes, places of work, and even places of worship have been destroyed. Even if and when they can return to their homes, not only places of employment, homes, and churches will need rebuilding but food will continue to be scarce.
As people of faith and Lutheran Christians, we know we are called to bind up the brokenhearted and feed the hungry. We can help the refugees by helping the communities of faith in the countries in which they seek refuge. Lutheran Disaster Response is already at work in Poland, Romania, and Moldova. Through cooperation with the Lutheran World Federation and World Council of Churches as well as local organizations, people are being fed today. We can do our part of help feed the bodily hunger as well as the emotional and spiritual hunger of our Ukrainian siblings.
As people who know the ending of the sadness of Holy Week and the joy that Easter brings, we are called and empowered to share. Please be generous and share your God-given gifts today.