Do any of you remember the “Duck and Cover” exercises from the sixties? As I listen with alarm to the news coming out of Ukraine, the heartbreaking devastation the Ukrainian people have suffered, and Putin’s threats of nuclear war if NATO implements a “no fly” zone over Ukraine, my mind takes me back to images of elementary school children huddled in fear under their desks with their hands over their heads.
Ironically, the drills were intended to give people hope, to help them think that there was something they could do to defend themselves against a nuclear attack. In reality, however, they did not do anything except terrorize young children. They certainly would not have saved my friends and me, living as we did right across the river from Detroit.
They did, however, leave a lasting legacy. As historian Dee Garrison argues, “these civil defense drills in schools would later fuel antiwar and antinuclear activism, on the part of outraged parents and the students themselves.”
But what do we do in the face of a madman who will do whatever he can to get what he wants, which today is Ukraine and which tomorrow could be much of Europe? In such frightening circumstances, we must pray and pray hard.
Today I invite you to visit our United Church website and meditate on the prayer provided by Rev. David Sparks.
In prayer lies our true hope.