The news from Ukraine of the Russian invasion, has shocked us all this week. Every news bulletin has indicated that the situation is worsening as the Russians drive further into the country and try to take possession of the major cities.
It has been half term, and as is our custom, we have had a family day together. This time it was our turn to host the proceedings! It is difficult to find new things to do in the middle of winter and although it was a very pleasant day, the fields and pathways were very wet after the recent rain, so we decided to spend the afternoon in the town. I remembered that before lockdown I had bought a ‘Nantwich Town Murder Trail’ for such an occasion. The youngest grandson was not very keen as he thought we were going to find a real body and a murderer but we managed to convince him that it was a bit of fun! He was still very wary as he likes everything to be ‘legal’! The children had a whale of a time searching for the clues, eliminating the suspects and the types of weapons used in the murder. We all learnt so much about the town and its history and discovered passages and nooks and crannies that we had never noticed before! There was great hilarity when our tall son-in-law had to bend nearly double to go through a passage. Of course, the reward was a milkshake in the Book Shop Café.
As we were walking round the town, I couldn’t help thinking of the people of Ukraine and the contrast of their plight with the enjoyable afternoon we had experienced. Instead of wandering around freely, enjoying the challenges of hunting for clues, families would be fleeing with few possessions or hiding away whilst fighting and bombing carried on around them, their hopes and dreams for the future, shattered. Their future now is so uncertain and our hearts and prayers go out to them. This morning I saw a photo of two Ukrainian children praying for peace in their country; one was holding an icon and the other a candle. It was a very powerful image and I couldn’t help but compare it with the photos of our care-free grandchildren enjoying themselves in freedom.
Whilst we are remembering the people of Ukraine we must not forget the people of Afghanistan, Syria and the Yemen who are in a similar situation. At the moment, we feel helpless but like the Ukrainian children in the photo, we can pray for them and for peace.
Lord we come to you
Renew us and give us peace. Amen