I took yesterday off and stayed home. The TV remained dark and I let the  7th day of war pass by without much dismay. (No thanks to Pat Robertson – see yesterday’s reflection) Most of the time, there were workers in and out of the house finishing up their tasks but it didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t really stuck, because it was such a lovely day. I enjoyed sitting outside, watching the grass (weeds) grow, playing in the dirt and with the dogs, moving things around and I started reading The Complete Maus (Thanks George for sharing. I’ll get it back to you soon.) It is the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the horrors of Holocaust.  Yes, it’s one of those banned books. (True or true – in 2015 Putin made the Russian edition of Maus illegal?)  A school board in Tennessee voted unanimously to ban “Maus,” (School districts in Texas have recently done so as well) from being taught in its classrooms because the book contains material board members said was inappropriate for students. (I want that to put you on your thinking chair – a book about the Holocaust has inappropriate material – I want to say, too bad we didn’t care more about the Jewish (and all) children throughout Europe in 1941-1945, and yes, I know the complexity of the historical situation and political climate of the time) but we don’t need to protect (by banning books) our children from the actually atrocity of the Holocaust. No one can make learning about the holocaust easier or nicer.  It is reported Nazi Germany and its collaborators killed about 1.5 million Jewish children and tens of thousands of Romani (Gypsy) children, 5,000–7,000 German children with physical and mental disabilities living in institutions, as well as many Polish children and children residing in the German-occupied Soviet Union. War is brutal and it is filled with death and injury, (many of you know that first hand).  Let’s not dismiss the pain and suffering of war. Pray mightily for the people of Ukraine and for the children of Ukraine. Let’s commit to banning war not books.  Don’t let me take another day off.  It gives me too much time to think.

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 2:4
“He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Reflection Questions:
How do you determine your priorities?
What banned book are you planning to (or have already) read?
What caused the Russians to invade Ukraine?

Prayer: Holy God, my heart aches for the people of Ukraine and I yearn for a world free of vengeance and violence. You fed five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish… give me and (us) hope that what we have to offer will turn out to be enough, Amen