In the place of bright sadness

‘Bright sadness’ is the term that Eastern Orthodox Christians use to describe the current season of Lent.

This year, the phrase is incredibly evocative.

And as I’ve been pondering on this place’s calling, I cannot divorce it from what is happening in Ukraine.

Because places, while distinct, are connected.

My place, here in the valley, doesn’t have a boundary around it that somehow separates it from what is happening there.

If anything, what we are witnessing in Ukraine provokes me to take my sense of place more seriously. And the calling it has on my life*.

In this time of bright sadness, perhaps I can speak the blessing of this place over that war-ravaged country.

I wonder, what might you do from your place?

* Hearing again the deep call of place and the provocation from Thomas Merton: “… Humans have a responsibility to find themselves where they are, in their own proper time and place, in the history to which they belong and to which they must inevitably contribute either their response or their evasions, either truth and act, or mere slogan and gesture.”