Singing in the Dark

Ira Kapitonova is with Ivan Kaptonov and Dmytro Bereza

Day 89

It’s been three whole months since the beginning of the full-scale war on Ukraine. It’s hard to believe how different our lives used to be, and I am sure the changes inside us are much more significant than we can see now.

I’ve often said it before, but it feels like the time froze, yet the seasons somehow keep changing. I still get confused about which day of the week it is (it always feels like Thursday, the day of the invasion), and it takes me a while to count which month of the year it is. I remember plans I made going to bed on February 23:

  • I was going to call my hairdresser and make an appointment for a haircut. And I was going to get my nails done on Friday – as we were leaving Kyiv, I was joking if I should call and cancel my appointment because of the war or if that part was obvious.
  • I was going to do laundry. In the weeks before the invasion, I tried to do laundry every other day to make sure we had clean clothes if (when?) the war escalated. It’s funny, but I remember most items in the laundry bin back home.
  • I was going to volunteer at my son’s school. I was helping them with organizing the school library, and I couldn’t wait for the project to be accomplished for the kids to be able to enjoy books. In fact, this is one of the things I’m really looking forward to doing once the war is over and everyone is back in Kyiv.
  • I was going to start preparing for the School of Biblical Studies (YWAM Kyiv SBS), where I had been translating for the past five years. I was looking forward to the new school season. I was going to find out which books I would be teaching and start researching them. I can say that SBS was my dream job because I was doing what I loved in a company of amazing people who inspire me in my walk with God. Even though they had to cancel SBS this year, I believe that God is going to do some amazing things through this school in the years to come, and I’m praying I can still be a part of it.
  • I was going to step out in faith and try literary translation as a profession. I mostly read Christian literature in English as it’s hard to find a good-quality Ukrainian translation, so I’m often disappointed that I can’t recommend a good book to someone who doesn’t speak the language. Last fall, I got a dream (it felt like my first “grown-up” dream) to help make good Christian books available in Ukrainian language. I was going to take the first practical steps at the end of February. Unfortunately, this dream has been put on hold by the war, but I hope I’ll be able to return to it after Ukraine’s victory.

The war cancelled or postponed all of these plans, and I have bittersweet feelings about it. Strangely, this list gives me the determination to persevere and do everything I can to make sure these plans are fulfilled.

I am a "night person," so it takes me a while to get to bed. Last night I was up until almost dawn. I heard the multitude of birds singing their different tunes. I know that's how the birds welcome the sunrise and the new day. However, I was surprised to realize that they start singing while it's still dark. They start singing before the first rays of sun peek through the horizon. They sing in anticipation of sunrise with complete assurance that it will come. Last night, I realized that we must learn from the birds. That's why, even though the war still rages in Ukraine, today, I will sing to God in anticipation and in full faith that He is going to bring deliverance and victory to Ukraine:

I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendour of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words
and kind in all his works.
The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
(Psalm 145)

Today’s picture is from my grandma’s vegetable garden. The vastness of the sky is a reminder of God’s splendour and is my inspiration to worship.