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It was 2:45 P. M., the world has abruptly changed its perspective: sky shimmers with dark lightening, droplets engorge themselves as they coalesce and careen down drains, and thunder like tom-toms echo across valleys to neighboring tribes: some explosively loud. A siren wails. Distress weeps. Rivers of mud obliterate trails. Where are we?

Such images implode my world when suddenly swamped by grief, seemingly unrelated to the humdrum task of scraping remnants of baked cheese from casserole bowls in the sink. The heaviness—unannounced, undesirable, unwanted—trounces my psyche rendering me numb and staring into space until the heaviness begins to dissipate. I want to cry, the sadness is so trenchant, but the tears remain locked within doorless-rooms.

It is 3:25 P. M. Only the severity of winds, rain, thunder and lightening lessen against the slate-gray sky. Like the remnants of the baked-on cheese, it takes work to remove them. Like prayer, steel-wool helps. More sirens pierce the afternoon’s emerging stillness. And then it is over—until the next untenable intrusion.

Yet with repeated cleansing, the deeper purification.

I sit in my wing-back chair, the Jerusalem Bible open upon my lap.

Earlier, I shuddered with media reports of Russians firing long range missiles at Kyiv, Karkiv, and Mariupol and more killing of civilians; with phone conversations blistering the wires between France’s Macron and Putin and between Biden and Xi Jinping.

Still another day of Russian mind control: the existence of biolabs and Nazis in Ukraine that justifies their aggression.

Yet, another day of Ukrainian resistance remains in place, with its demands for security guarantees from Russia, should it not join NATO.

Such terror-rhetoric glistens with menace, its intent to foist global panic: Ukrainians’ devastation could become the lot of other nations, including our own.

Such issues scathe my depths like zillions of flashing daggers. If unaddressed, psychic dismemberment occurs. I choose not to go there.

Instead, I enter within the psalmist’s imperative, Seek his face (27:8)—a redirection toward Spirit where, alone, faith stirs and stretches tall.

Like gardeners harvesting seeds of spent flowers, I collect my scattered energies and focus upon the present moment in which the face of God abounds. Today, I pray to be teachable, to live with events, terrifying and unpredictable as they unfold, fraught by Evil’s illusion.

We’re in good hands and always have been.

Be still and know that I am God.

So proclaimed the psalmist, an imperative directed toward centuries of warring factions, both within and without. What is there about the human spirit, so easily impaled upon conflict, so easily seduced by Evil’s allurements that appear all powerful, the ultimate in satisfaction?

In our time, another unbridled war escalates in Ukraine with the murderous Russian offensive, twelve days old. Terror breeds more terror. Madness sours perspective. Blood stains once-manicured streets. Flurries of “We’ve got to do something!” fill the media like Icelandic blizzards crippling its cities.

Yet, another Voice compels our full attention. Be still. Substantial life-change is at stake and we know it. Naked, trembling, we stretch into our psyches and release our own trigger fingers, yield our recalcitrant wills, unravel murderous distortions, and unclench fists. In the process, we come to Know that I am God.

Indeed, this is a solitary war, even more critical than Ukraine’s, the sweaty business of engagement and retreat, of binding up wounds and receiving new ones, of regrouping until learning to walk anew, upright in spirit.

The spirituality of the Twelve-step Recovery puts out psychic fires around the world. Its practice continues helping me.

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