These nights are restless. Last night I lay awake praying, searching for words, and finally giving up and trusting that wordless heart prayer was enough.
This morning I’m thinking of the world my grandmothers lived in, and what it was like for them to say goodbye to their sons who were heading off to fight in the Second World War. There was no instant communication or endless news, and I wonder if that was a blessing or a curse to them.
How was their mental and emotional health during those years? Of course, there was no talk of such things back then and, after all, there was much work to be done at home, but did they too lay awake at night trying to pray but unable to find words?
Thankfully, both their sons returned, but two young lads my great-grandmother released to the First World War didn’t. The youngest was just 18 when he was lost to man’s war. My great-grandmother had already lost daughters to illness. How on earth was she able to carry on after such loss?
Do the images we see today, as opposed to the imagined ones of my grandmothers coped, provide any respite? Are news updates every moment of the day any better than nightly radio broadcasts?
Two years of dealing with COVID, and the resulting overreach and loss of confidence in our leaders, have done nothing to prepare us for the current situation in Ukraine or the threat of another widespread war. My God, we are weary.
There are too many questions to try putting words around. Too many petitions. Too many people fighting battles we cannot see, in addition to those caught up in the conflict we see on the news.
And so, I lay awake at night praying wordless prayer. During the day, the tension in my neck and shoulders reminds me to pause and offer more of the same. In the morning, before our household gets moving, I sit in quiet contemplation and trust that it’s enough in this season because it’s all I have.