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

Simply Lent 7…

“Even in a world that’s being shipwrecked, remain brave and strong.”

So many words and moments lean me into the pain and unrest of the current war. This quote rings true as I hear stories and see images in Ukraine. May we use these wise words as our mantra during this time. And pray for peace.

Quote: Hildegard of Bingen

Simply Lent 3… (re-post amended)


“All I know for sure is that anticipatory hope is not enough anymore,
participatory hope is the only kind that will work now.” –

We are careful at this point. Careful to do no harm. Careful to find creative ways to express our concern with the people, so important, so vulnerable. People who we cannot touch or even be near.

This has been a season aching for hope. We have stretched beyond our limits to find the spaces where hope shines in the future. This is not passive longing. The hope we seek is waiting to be discovered through our willingness, our ability to engage in the world before us.

No one dares describe hope’s path to be easy. But we are all stirred by our connection to one another.

May our lives reflect hope so that peace may grow to cover the earth.

Quote: Barbara Brown Taylor

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