What we need is a burst of Spring to take us away from Covid, economic worries, gas prices, Putin, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. Poor Spring–that’s a big load to lay on such a lovely and sweet-smelling time of the year! Many of us prefer to plan gardens or clean porches. We don’t want to see Spring abused by having to do anything more than bring back songbirds and daffodils. But here we are.
I’m just not ready for Spring. As I write, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is uppermost in my thought. For Spring to come I have to know the beautiful people of Ukraine will survive. I have to know NATO will find a way to stop Putin from destroying everyone and everything–especially everyone. Look into the faces of young Ukrainian mothers fleeing with babes in arms. We all know they don’t deserve to be struck by shrapnel, their homes bombed to oblivion. No one does. These moms have dinners to fix, jobs to do, and lullabies to sing. Dying in an unjust fiery war doesn’t fit in their busy days.
Though, I wouldn’t mind if Putin’s many mansions and dachas went up in flames–especially if he were in residence. The war would likely end (most Russians don’t want it) if Putin were to disappear. Harsh words from someone who cherishes the Sermon on the Mount? Wrong words? Perhaps. But, then, Jesus did throw the moneychangers out of the synagogues and rebuked the Pharisees (“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! . . . Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers . . .” Matthew 23). Clearly evil actors were not recipients of his lovingkindness. Should they be of ours? If we truly follow Christ, ought we not rebuke evil and those who cause it?
Rebuke is an interesting word. I researched it a bit this past week. It means to express sharp disapproval or criticism of someone (or something) because of their actions or behavior. It is not hate. But it is a strong stand taken to put right what isn’t. Because of his evil actions and behavior rebuking Putin seems appropriate.
Then I think of his mother. Putin had one; hard as it is to imagine him a babe in someone’s arms. Even the most evil autocrat or hardened criminal was once a recipient of his mother’s love–if but for a short while, even if cruelty followed his days.
We’ve been told by numerous wisemen, Christ Jesus most notably, to love our enemies. That means not only ought we love our enemies, but Putin ought love his, not destroy them.
Perhaps this is the burst of Spring I’m looking for. Perhaps when war vanishes and love floods our world, a real Spring will burst forth.
Artwork: Burst of Spring, mixed media, 36″ x 26″ $975 by Gwendolyn Evans. One of my newest and, currently, most favorite paintings! It is joyful, spiritual in feeling, full of movement and favorite colors.