Men, are you feeling like me? Do you feel a burgeoning call to join the fight against the injustice taking place in Ukraine right now? If not, then ask yourself why?
I submit, what we are witnessing, each day, is truly heroic on the part of the citizens of Ukraine. I believe it is something that we should admire, applaud, and emulate, especially as it relates to the call of the Ukrainian men to stay and fight against the tyranny of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
My thirteen-year-old son recently confessed that he feels bad over his anxious anticipation and excitement surrounding the daily media updates on the battle in Ukraine right now. I affirmed him and assured him that what he is feeling is totally normal and something, which I, myself, feel as well. I told him we don’t glory in the war in Ukraine right now, nor in the injustice and war crimes that are being committed, but in the valiant spirit of the Ukrainian people, and their elected leader, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Having just returned from the Catholic Men’s Conference in San Antonio over the weekend, I was struck by the irony of the location, which I found myself, and the events that are taking place in Eastern Europe right now. In 1836, the Mexican government attempted to forcefully take back the once Mexican land, which we call Texas. A young American nation stood by, apparently in a posture of neutrality, while citizens from the United States of America poured in to defend the Texan territory. One such man was former Tennessee Congressman, Davy Crockett. The legendary “King of the Wild Frontier” who showed up to defend the Alamo mission site. I equated Davy Crockett’s presence to that of a Navy Seal Team 6 member showing up in Ukraine right now. Probably a poor analogy, but it was the best I could do in my mind at the time.
That said, I was inspired by Davy Crockett’s selfless sacrifice and the many other men from the Union that traveled to fight against the obvious injustice to Texans. I am just as inspired, today, if not more so, by the thousands that are traveling to Ukraine to fight against the evil which is threatening to take their freedom as a sovereign state. I believe my son told me that 16,000 Europeans have traveled into Ukraine to help in the fight and support their fellow Europeans in the battle for Ukraine’s future. The Ukraine War is summoning the courage of many men and women. While I acknowledge the bravery of the many women in Ukraine, I am seeing a nation summon their men to step forward, age 18-60, and be counted on for their welfare of their country. What a tremendous witness to their God given call as leaders, protectors and providers. We need this witness now more than ever.
While I cannot leave my post as husband and father of 7 young children to support Ukraine’s fight right now, I continue to press forward in the many battles waging in our country still. There is a war against the pre-born child in the womb, which claims 4,000 lives per day and over 60 million since 1973. The battle against pornography continues to ruin the innocence of our children, harm generations of families, destroy thousands of marriages and enslave even more with its empty promises and lies. While we must pray for the battle in Ukraine right now and for peace to return to that nation, we must also stay vigilant in our own country and fight the many battles at our doorstep. Whether it is an injustice related to the above-mentioned issues or fear related to our post-pandemic American society, we have much to concern ourselves with locally.
Do not think for a moment that there is NOT an evil lurking around the corner of your home and work space right now. With great situational awareness, we must be ready to be summoned into battle at any given notice to fight for our children, our wives and the common good. This evil, so apparent in Europe right now, masks (pun intended) itself daily in our country as comfortable, safe, and for the good of many. Don’t be fooled by the great deception that is keeping yourself and others in bondage. Sin ensnares and traps all of us. Lent is here and invites us all to be uncomfortable with that, which has become comfortable–the sin in our lives. Take steps to eradicate the sin that is robbing you of your peace. Pray for greater faith, holiness and trust. Pray to fulfill your call as a man. Pray for the courage to be the saint that God has created you to be in the times that you live.