Ruin and treasure – a repost in honor of Ukraine

Wherever there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure. RUMI

My heart breaks as I watch whole countries crumble in the wake of hatred, unimaginable violence and destruction. I do not understand and feel small as I try to think about solutions.

Cradling loaves of bread, this man weeps. Tears could be for all that has been lost, or tears that could be in gratitude for the bread he holds. Bread – he may be unable to provide as he once did – before his world became the battleground of dangerous egos and heartless acts. In this picture, we can only see a small bit of what his loss may include. A bombed-out building – was it home, his children’s school, the hospital which had been caring for his loved ones? Whatever this building had been, its shelter is only a memory now.

And so we meet a balance of opposites – ruins and treasure. Unable to hold back the grief rising from his heart, this man walks ahead with food for the journey. He carries a treasure – simple yet basic. The ruins surrounding him are overwhelming. Captured in this picture is an image of what was and the movement toward what will be.

I have always believed that phoenixes rise from ashes, whatever those ashes may be. Believing this requires that I, too, hold a balance of opposites. It is impossible to reach out to thousands of displaced and homeless people. I am reminded of a quote from Mother Teresa – “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Today I toss a stone across the waters. With this man’s picture before me,  I offer prayers for all people displaced by war as they search for peace and safety and strive to reconstruct home. 

Quote: Rumi
Image: unknown

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