By Robbie Joern
The crowd at the vigil for Ukraine was quite large, and, while several people there were friends, many were new to me. I wish we could have shared contact information with each other, but that takes away from the whole theme of the gathering.
I had a little trouble trying to explain to Ben, my grandson, what a vigil was all about. It wasn’t easy explaining the components, but the silent prayer was something he wasn’t ready to even try. But all around us were people who remembered Ben from church or were ready to hand a sign for us to display and all the concern went away.
My response, on the way home, was that the event gave me hope.
Ben said, “It’s not hopeful, It’s heartwarming.”
The gift of tonight’s vigil, and those that have passed and those yet to come, is that they bless those being remembered as well as those who come to bring their prayers.
Ben reminded me that at school some of the kids started talking about the war in Ukraine. Some of them were having a hard time, so the school told them they couldn’t talk about it. After all, they only recently were told they didn’t need to wear their mask any more. They all are a little leery and I can’t say that I blame them at all!
I say that telling our children the best way to deal with a sad, difficult situation is to pretend it isn’t there, is a poor way to live out building community and has an impact for our next generation. We need to teach our children ways to solve living together when we don’t agree with our neighbors and how to do that with dignity and respect.
Tonight we were blessed to share our concern for people we likely will never meet. That’s what we should share with our children. I know tonight was a success because Ben also said, “I want to go to the next vigil!”, with a big smile on his face.
Please extend our gratitude to the planners and the others who assisted in making the vigil so simple, yet so profound. We grow in faith together.
Blessings to all,
Robbie and Ben