These words by Phil Snider, a pastor at Brentwood Christian Church in Springfield, MO, really spoke to me. I hope they will speak to you, too. He’s a favorite writer of mine and I hope you will read more of his stuff.
As if our world could take one more thing.
War is ruined time. It is forged for the sake of ego and empire, and it leaves those who put their faith in it forever hungry for more, with an insatiable thirst that is never satisfied, all while those who so desperately want to avoid war instead find themselves weeping for irretrievable pasts and lost futures, wondering how they will endure it all, or if they can endure it all.
War doesn’t fill the void, it exploits it, exposes it, enlarges it. Violence begets violence, and the world loses count. There is no glory in warfare, only loss, only sorrow. Loss of life for the victims, loss of soul for the perpetrators, and loss of promise and possibility beyond anything we will ever know. War is an incalculable evil that breeds irreparable loss. That nations try to find meaning and purpose in it is a sickness unto death.
In Dante’s Inferno, there’s a place in hell where despots and warmongers have to acknowledge the traumatic truth of who they are, to come face to face with how much suffering they caused. Only then can they change. But the problem with that is not just that it’s fiction. Even if it were real, by then it is still too late for this world, where the warmongers have already created too many hells on earth. And it does nothing for those in Ukraine, who just want to sleep and just want to live, who just want to be able to step outside and walk down their street. Which shouldn’t be asking too much.
Justice is always too late for this world, it seems, and I guess sometimes that just grieves me beyond words.
My heart and prayers are with the people of Ukraine.