I’m sharing an excerpt from an account of Eric Burnett’s reporting from Ukraine. The moment of Lucky, a goat, a gratitude…(see link to full interview below)
“Tell us what you saw in Ukraine and how it’s different from your previous reporting trip to the region, when you witnessed the transition into war?
I met a couple whose son was killed in the war. Their house was rubble, filled with rockets and bullets. Their backyard was a series of holes dug by Russian troops, still filled with the mattresses, sheets and cigarettes they stole when they lived there for more than a month.
Vadim and Olga had lost everything. The day I met them, their goat, who was pregnant before the invasion, gave birth to two kids. Olga held them, inhaling their smell, and murmured that it was like milk, honey and eggs. She said, “We have new life.”
Olga lost her only child in this war and yet she found joy in the newborn goats. I asked Vadim what word he would use to describe his life now — he didn’t pause. Lucky, he said. Lucky, because the Russians in nearby houses raped women and tortured people.
Lucky, he said, because God helped them. They felt lucky. And there I was, unable to fathom their loss.
I learned from Vadim and Olga that sometimes, as much as a moment moves you and affects you, you cannot understand it. I was silenced by their ability to take joy in their goats and to find themselves lucky.
I could only listen and witness their experience.
I learned from them in a new way that this is something we humans can do for one another.”
8 thoughts on “When the Bee stings”
What a depth of gratitude and ability to find joy displayed by the couple in this story who had lost everything.
I went back to look at the previous blog, “Give Thanks”, and the scripture that tells of God’s will in all circumstances and think … how they lived that. And the picture of the shovel sign took on a new meaning. It may have been that a similar shovel was used in their back yard to dig “a series of holes dug by Russian troops still filled with the mattresses, sheets and cigarettes they stole when they lived there for more than a month. “ Yet, they viewed themselves as grateful or “lucky” and were able to find “joy in the newborn goats”.
May God continue to help and bless them and so many in Ukraine who have experienced such loss and devastation.
🎼When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad🎼
“Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music taught this song to the von Trapp children. Set in Austria on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938, the musical tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as governess to a large family while she decides whether to become a nun. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain von Trapp. He is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy, but he opposes the Nazis. He and Maria decide on a plan to flee Austria with the children.” This movie/story was based on another time and war but finding survival through thinking, speaking/singing positive thoughts.
As Christians we find this to be a truth to live life with love, hope and peace is times of war, loss and what seems like hopelessness. Yet, Jesus knew, God sees and the Holy Spirit comforts us. We are encouraged to think in the same light as stories told here, “… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you”(Philippians 4:8-9).
Vickie Woodard, Methodist Minister, Plymouth, NC wrote this short story today and I thought just puzzle fits our conversation here. Do you agree?
“There was a ladybug on my cup.
A blessing, I think.
A reminder that no matter how many things on my to do list were still undone, no matter how many things I had yet to do before I stopped for the evening, before I drifted away in peaceful sleep this night, that all would be well.
As Julian of Norwich, said, “all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”
She wrote this in the oldest surviving book written by a woman in English, back in the fourteenth century.
Julian knew great suffering in her lifetime.
Her country was at war all of the years of her life, and yet, she survived both war and the famine that accompanied that war.
Three times in her lifetime, bubonic plague swept through her country, and those who survived, did so only by isolating themselves from their friends and family. Julian, in fact, lived in a room off the side of a church in her village. She lived there, all of her adult life.
And yet, despite all of these hardships, she remained hopeful.
Full of hope.
Filled with hope and a joy that could only come from her deep relationship with God.
So today, despite meetings, despite having more to do than I think I can do, I choose to see this ladybug as blessing.
I watched her—him? I see all ladybugs as ‘her’—I watched her climb up the side of my cup until finally, she crawled onto my hand and I moved her to the hosta that grew in the flower box near me.
She is safe, she is free, and I am free, as well, to see this day and the responsibilities of it as gift.
Tonight, I see a ladybug as blessings, and my responsibilities as gift. The writer of Proverbs says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.” (Proverbs 3.27-28).
Today, this day, I have it in me to do these things I have promised to do for other people.
And I count it joy to do them.
A change in perspective, I guess, but I’m grateful for the ladybug.
If this story doesn’t move is to be grateful….what will? 🙏🙏🙏🙏
“Vickie Woodard, Methodist Minister, Plymouth, NC wrote this short story today and I thought just puzzle fits our conversation here. Do you agree?”
Yes! I think her story of Julian echoes the story of Vadim and Olga and Sara’s account of the von Trapp family….each had hope and joy and found blessing (in a ladybug) and joy and new life (in baby goats)…God’s creations and “thinking, speaking/singing positive thoughts.”
And both Sara and Vickie encourage us as to what to think on “ whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” and to keep our perspective hopeful and grateful.
All these writings and accounts seem to illustrate people who are living or who lived in and embraced the present, and find or found good from the hand of God in their circumstances.
Aweee this might anchor us in hope.
“Aweee this might anchor us in hope.”
Yes, I think it sure does! The song and story of the farmer walks us right back to gratitude; and a previous blog’s sign which read, “Thankful, Grateful, Blessed.”
The farmer in the story sure reminded me of the hymn, “Count Your Blessings” and the farmer did just that and named them one by one.