I have been watching BBC News and the coverage of the war in Ukraine, the death, the grief, the displacement of millions, the separated, the homeless, the mothers and children looking out the windows of despair at loved ones left behind, and the fear on the stark faces of Ukrainians who may soon be without a country. And have already become or may become widows, widowers, and orphans.
For two long years, the world has been infected with Covid. Millions have died. The war against it is not yet over. I wonder what the long-haul consequences of Covid are and how its victims and their offspring will be adversely affected for generations to come.
Now, in Russia, Ukraine, and the world people are infected and affected by another disease. That disease is seated in the heart of Putin. That disease is the evil inside Putin. His evil is like a tapeworm to the collective soul and consciousness of all people. Apparently, in good conscience, Putin has and continues to commit the unconscionable, hateful, and inhumane wrongs to countless children of the same God who gave Putin the gift of birth to live and to love on Earth. The picture posted with my prayer is of Putin in a Russian Orthodox Church. He is in a place of worship. He stands on Holy ground.
I am reminded of Pascal’s quote, “Evil is never done so thoroughly or so well as when it is done with a good conscience.” It is clear to me that Putin does not have a conscience or empathy for others who inhabit Ukraine or the larger world. The gravity of the evil inside him is so great it has suffocated his ability to love others or to feel remorse for the death and hardship borne by those who are the object of his indifference and hate.
Like many of you, I worry about WWIII, a nuclear holocaust. Warheads detonated by the spark of Putin’s evil. Similarly, the Holocaust, the killing of millions of Jews, was the result of the evil and hatred that started with one man, Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s evil infected thousands of Germans who followed his command.
I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Duck and Cover Drills at Dean Junior High. Worried parents. Prayers said to avoid destruction. My neighbors, the Sustaires, building a nuclear bomb shelter. I wondered if they would let me in if the worst happened. Of course, that was a silly thought. I knew there was just enough room for the Sustaire Family. Their shelter had no room for me and others.
In my weekly prayers, I usually focus on happier topics and even include some humor. But what is happening with Putin, Russia, and Ukraine is neither happy nor funny.
But the good news is this — The God you and I serve, and the God Putin should serve too is the God of love, the God of hope, and the God of salvation.
The good news is that the evil in Putin cannot kill God. That is because God’s love is far stronger and more powerful than Putin’s evil and hatred. Nuclear energy is no match for the Creator of everyone including Vladimir Putin.
Until there is peace, I ask that each of you please join me in constant prayer for God to address what we cannot accomplish by economic sanctions and providing military equipment.
God has spoken to us about being comforted and finding peace in times like this.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
I [Jesus] have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Let us pray together.
Dear God, in prayer I ask You to cover Putin with the precious body and blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
God, please shine Your Son’s healing light and love on Putin and those who follow his command to harm Your children.
God may Putin stand in the shadow of the Cross of Christ.
God, I ask that You and Your love vanquish the hate and evil in Putin’s heart and that others be shielded from harm in Ukraine and in Russia.
God, I thank You for watching over me and especially the Ukrainian people in their time of need of Holy Hope, comfort, and protection. Amen
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur, and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.