Subliminal noise

Maybe we would do a better job separating the anxious thoughts bombarding us, if we weren’t also involved in helping out directly. I thought my plate was full, and then I added one more course on top of it full. I fear I may mix up events, groups, or let things fall through the cracks.

We signed up to host people in transit through Cluj, especially as our airport in pretty popular and active. Airlines offered to fly refugees for free. And there are hundreds of people willing to put forth their gifts to make this exodus from Ukraine smooth. People are traumatized by the events anyway, to flee in a hurry and have your husband, father, fiancee, son, pulled off the bus and given a gun to defend there country. Tearful goodbyes, empty stomachs, tough traveling through a cold month still. Psychologists, dentists, OBGYN clinics, hotels, airlines, churches, rental cars putting their vans at the disposal of drivers to bring refugees from the borders, many organizations all offering their services for free. When help can be tangible, actionable, practical, people forget themselves and step up and step in.

Ukraine struggled with corruption before the war started. It’s rather sad but unsurprising. We used to be there. But as Romania entered the EU there was a serious crackdown on corruption, at the low level and and the high level. I only realize how far we’ve come along as a country only when I see how painful our neighbors have it. At the border people have to pay 2-300 euro to be let out of the country. Men are turned back to fight the Russian invaders, but if they have 2000 euro they can leave the country. Most people don’t even have a passport ready. And the lines at the border to leave the country are mies long. The airport is occupied by Russian military. There are no passenger flights out of Ukraine. A few years ago dad wanted to drive up to the border and cross into Ukraine, just for the experience, the stamp and to come right back after setting food on Ukrainian soil. The tension in Ukraine was rampant back in 2014. Then things settled a bit.

As we have fun with our kids, I took ivy swimming on Saturday, I have this nagging feeling in the bak of my mind that life is not fair, that there are people suffering and dying as we speak, and I shouldn’t be having fun. Yet a book I read recently said that life is worth living as we learn to enjoy it, and fun and enjoyment is essential for children development. So for my kids’ sanity and my own, we go to church, we go to school, we play music and we swim… while we still can. We only have today.

The war is at our doorstep and it’s taking its toll on everyone. I hope it will bring out the best in us and we have sustainable energy to push through the marathon we began. As someone said on abc radio, we all know how a war starts, but we don’t know how it will end. (Or we know how to start a war but nobody knows how to end one.)

My kids pray for Ukraine every night. They are not scared though. They ask questions. They see us plan, they know we may host refugees, but for them war is still a far away concept.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by fear, as an overthinking adult. Taking it through with other adults, who are balanced, hopeful, knowledgeable, letting the worry be verbalized, one gets a grip on life and together we can make it through the day. As all refugees are efficiently distributed by hard working passionate people who excel in administration work, we pray for a ready heart, stamina to do the work God calls us to do and do it joyfully. And be ready. Always ready.