Heavy Guilt

“Hey, how are you?” the words drifted through her soft Ukrainian accent.

She was going to the post office for Nurse Mary. I was setting up for Lunchbox. Seeing one another’s familiar faces as we passed on the curving staircase, saying hello was only natural. But it wasn’t just hello.

“Pray for Ukraine,” were the words from her mouth. But her brown eyes held the pain, worry, and anxiety of a daughter separated from Mom, Dad, and little sister. Not knowing what to say, all that came from my mouth was “I will.”

I will pray for Ukraine. I had been.


Fear and worry accompanying my thoughts, I told another friend the situation made nervous. This friend asked why. “Because they may need airmen over there.” Wearing his Airman Battle Uniform he replied, “They might. And if so, then God glorified.” He was okay with going across the pond. I wasn’t. The prayers bells of heaven rang with my pleas that he wouldn’t have to go. Because I didn’t want him to.

Standing at the bottom of that curved staircase, my Ukrainian friend told me of the fears, fiery arrows, and cliff hanger worries that grew in her heart like kudzu climbing a mountain with ease.

“My family is there. They live on the border. If they died, I would die.

The US has announced they will not send troops.

They are not going to help.”

Ice-picks of pain stabbed at my heart at the thought of loosing family. My hippie mom, country dad, and nine siblings being gone? The monster question of, “God, would you really let that happen?” made its way to my mind. That monster has confronted her. That fear that it may be safer for her stay in the states than to travel home after the semester has caused her to question going home to her family.

Along with pricks of pain in my heart, there was also a glad-guilt. The US will not send troops. My friend won’t be going. At least, not now. But that feeling of relief sank deep in my gut. A heavy relief. An awkward comfort. I felt guilty.

One friend’s family lives in need of help and protection.

One friend could of been part of that help and protection.     


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