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  • Writer's pictureJohn Kim

Ukraine's Enemy

Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

One of my favorite classical pieces to play growing up was the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s 1st string quartet. Both Leo Tolstoy and Helen Keller are said to have been brought to tears when first hearing it. I had always found it incredibly powerful, but never cried over it… until the other day.

My wife @Elaine Kim helped to organize a benefit concert to support Ukrainian refugees at @Trehaus. We made a donation and brought our boys to watch the musicians play with great gusto and technical prowess. Many of them have family back in the Ukraine, and were clearly experiencing a deep range of emotions that they channeled into their performance. But then just before the encore, their ringleader came up and took things to a whole new level.

“We’d like to thank you so much for coming to support us today. It is a very difficult situation we are facing, and to know that you stand with us means so much. Until now you’ve heard us playing pieces written by Ukrainian composers, but for this last piece we want to play something written by a Russian composer. While war can often cause hate, we want to honor our enemy and we look forward to the day we can stand with them side by side in peace.”

Man I just lost it. As they got to playing I couldn’t help but think of what Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 5. Honoring your enemies is an impossible standard to live up to, but every now and then one can find incredible hope in seeing someone live out the call.

Lord, we thank you for inspiration. We ask for an end to the conflict and protection for all those affected. In Jesus’ most mighty name, Amen.

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