Life Is Pretty Intense And Death Is Pretty Final

I’ve been wanting to write some blog posts to share what daily life is currently like in Ukraine, but it’s hard.  To keep going, one has to be positive and focus on that and yet there is an under lying tension going on that can only be called, “war.”  Everyone is dealing with this reality differently. Those of us in Kyiv know it is calm here now, but we know that it is far from calm in eastern Ukraine and what is going on there is on everyone’s mind.

Yesterday I was on a walk with my friend and we suddenly found ourselves on Maidan attending a funeral.  Yaroslav, a 20 year old soldier joined the Heavenly Hundred.

It was a rather surreal atmosphere as his friends and family crowded around the casket and the Orthodox priests sang prayers.  It is still hard to comprehend what is going on here at times.  I was surprised to find that the feeling I felt most of all was a sorrowful feeling of peace. I have had my own heartaches living in Ukraine and watched many people I love suffer in silence. I’ve shed all my tears.  I know why Maidan started.

I know it’s weird to feel peace but that’s what I felt.  Peace because now I understand that there are people around me who care about injustice and oppression. People who care enough to put their life on the line and die for it. Before Maidan started, I wasn’t sure.  I was getting cynical.

None of us going through what has transpired in Ukraine the last seven months will ever be the same.  What’s happened to me will be part of my life, part of my story. We are all being changed though this experience and it’s okay.  We are going to be okay.  God is going to get us through this. And really, we are blessed.  Those of us who refuse to bow to oppression, injustice, and spiritual abuse are blessed.  We are not victims, but blessed because we are not going through life hypocritically or superficially.  Some people chose to live that way and they lead very narrow lives.

We are blessed because we believe, we hope, we love, we care and even die for others. We believe in a God who is greater than ourselves and we are passionate about life. With such great passion comes life and death. We are willing to sacrifice for others. We are not alone and that gave me peace.

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