While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Church sign from St. Mark's in St. John's

Remember that song written in the 60’s by Beatles member George Harrison? The  words convey his dismay at the world’s unrealized potential for universal love. 

I thought of that song as I watched hour upon hour at the senseless and murderous attack by Vladimir Putin’s Russians on the people of Ukraine. Hundreds of civilians—of all ages—have been caught in the crossfire of missile attacks and unconscionable bombing. Certainly there is little universal love on the part of the aggressor. It is heartbreaking to see the millions of refugees fleeing their country. The world hasn’t seen this level of catastrophic slaughter in a while, and yes, my heart weeps for the people of Ukraine.

And, the fact that we as individuals can do nothing about it makes it more frustrating and soul destroying. Yes, we can support the various organizations that are making an effort to provide humanitarian aid but it seems so little. However, it all helps.

Our own Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund—a prime outreach funder of the Anglican Church of Canada, is working towards humanitarian aid for Ukrainians. Their website suggests:

PWRDF is supporting Ukrainians forced to flee their homes due to the Russian invasion. The initial grant of $20,000 issued to an ACT Alliance appeal has been increased to $50,000. The grants will fund the work of ACT member Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA). As the war began on February 24, tens of thousands of Ukrainians fled for safety elsewhere in Ukraine or to neighbouring countries. HIA has been working in Ukraine for more than 25 years in humanitarian and development projects. It had already shipped 28 tons of food to support those fleeing to Hungary, and their staff has been working with refugees at the Ukraine/Hungary border.

A good reason to support PWRDF!

I am old enough to remember 1956, when the Soviet Army invaded Hungary and thousands of people had to flee their country. Canada accepted over 37,000 refugees, and many of them had to come through Gander, where I grew up. The call went out then for clothing, blankets, toiletries, or anything that be helpful for these people who had left their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back. We didn’t have much, but I recall my mother gathering together blankets and sheets for the refugees. It was awful, and I recall my feeling of despair at the plight of these people.

And, I feel the same sense of despair for the Ukrainian people, and a feeling of outrage at Russia’s inhumanity towards its neighbours. Although it is admittedly difficult, the only consolation I feel is in this quotation by Mahatma Gandhi:

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

We Stand for Ukraine.

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