"Until the very last moment, I didn't believe it would happen. I just pushed away these thoughts," said a terrified Anna Dovnya in Kyiv, watching soldiers and police remove shrapnel from an exploded shell. "We have lost all faith."
(Source: Associated Press, "Russia presses invasion to outskirts of Ukranian capital" by Y. Karmanu, J. Mentz, V. Isachenkov, and D. Litvinova. (emphasis mine)
If I could reach out across the world and give one person a hug of reassurance in this world today, it is Anna Dovnya. I would stand with open arms for a long line of all of the Ukranians who are suffering and scared right now.
I don't know names, but I know there are people who have read my stories that live in these places that are under siege, whose lives are looking very dark and terrifying today, more so than ever before. I know many of my readers, even outside of the immediately suffering area, are experiencing emotions of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty today. The world is literally changing before our eyes, and we are all powerless to stop it. It's unsettling, and with the whispers and rumors of potential nuclear war echoing about, there is a level of unprecedented uncertainty that no other generation has ever had to worry about quite the way that you do. You are pioneers of this terrifying landscape, and it is unfair that the world we live in has brought you to this place.
But hold on... hold onto your faith and your hope... hold onto love... hold onto one another.
As hatred and war breaks out, we must overcome it with the greatest weapon that we have... our ability to come together and to support and love one another. Stronger than any gun or tank, when people love one another and come together, we project light that shines in the darkness. The battle may still rage on around us, but there is hope in the midst of our makeshift families, and the presence of love can keep us stable, even as the world falls apart.
In the news article cited above, there was a short paragraph describing the Ukrainian people hiding together - some in the basement of a hotel lined with mattresses, others gathered together in the underground railway stations. The reporter described the scene as "almost cheerful" as the people braved the night huddled together. Humanity brought to a base level engages in love out of necessity.
It all reminds me of the Marauders, staying cheerful under the terror of the reign of Voldemort over the Wizarding World. Despite the horror that they were faced with each day, James, Remus, Sirius, and Peter banded together and managed to bring light to all of the students of Hogwarts through their gift of laughter. We all admire the world of Harry Potter and dream of being in the Great Hall... The true magic of Hogwarts is not in the spell work and fantasy, but in the way that the characters - and the readers of the books - come together in times of need and suffering.
You and I are the magic of Hogwarts when we love one another.
This idea is plainly stated in the Bible, too - not with the Hogwarts theme, of course, but the idea that love is more powerful than any other force. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13 that he could do anything, give everything away, know all that there is to know... and if it's done without love then it means nothing at all. He said that the greatest orations would be reduced to clanging symbols without love, the highest college degrees would be utter rubbish without love.
Another of the apostles, John, who walked and spoke with Jesus, shared the words that he learned from Jesus during His life. Love is a verb, John explained, "let us not love with words or speech but with action and in truth." (1 John 3:18) So not is knowledge, money, power, and fame reduced to nothing without love, but our words are meaningless without becoming verbs, without becoming action. Thoughts and prayers amount to nothing without turning those words into action, without reaching out and actively trying to help in anyway that we are able to help.
What I have to offer is small. I am not a soldier or a politician. I am not gifted with a wide influence or the ability to shelter the ones I love with a Patronus or Protego Maxima. All I can do is offer up a safe place to speak out and find comfort. We are a family - me and you and the others who have joined together in our Marauder-loving community and the Harry Potter community at large. As things in this world change and the darkness begins to close in around us, we must support one another and lean upon the bond that we have forged.
I am here for you. I am willing to listen. If you need to talk, if you just want to vent, if you're afraid and need reassuring words, if you're struggling to stay afloat - my heart is for you and I am here to be your support. You can comment on this post or email me with any concerns you have or questions or rants or anything you like. My email is HGMartinWrites@gmail.com.