Taken in October 2014, this photo appeared in the Lawton Constitution newspaper. It depicts Snyder, Oklahoma residents Gerald Schulz and Erick Speck after having returned from a trip to the Ukraine.
Today on my way back from prison (at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite, OK) I saw the sign across from the gas station on the north end of Snyder. I don’t often go that route, but today I did and I needed to stop for gas. As you can see, the sign is not overly large. Not that the sign is not visible, but I can say that I did not see it until after I had already stopped across Highway 183.
More recently, Erick Speck returned to the Ukraine delivering knives to help the people of Ukraine to aid in their current struggle with Russia. Mr. Speck even delivered a custom made knife from Texas to the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko in Kiev. This knife carried an inscription from Winston Churchill which read: “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
For me, the sign carries the subtle reminder that we need to continue to pray for people around the world in great turmoil, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Nigeria…..and safety for those deployed. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
There is a saying: “Pray as if everything depends on God. Act as if everything depends on you.” It is attributed to Augustine of Hippo (“Saint Augustine”) but it also appears in Reform Judaism’s Gates of Prayer siddur. Clearly this adage cuts across faith groups.
So, Pray….and Act. Whether bringing knives to Ukraine’s gunfight is enough to help, I don’t know. But, it is a symbolic gesture….an act of Solidarity.
May be you blessed in your prayers and acts.