This summer, I texted my friend in one of Ethiopia’s war zones. I texted him again. And again. And again. “Are you safe?” “I’m concerned for you.” “I’m praying for you.”
But there was no reply. There was only haunting, ambiguous silence for over 5 months. The little notifications on WhatsApp never turned blue, and I didn’t know if he was dead or alive, like so many others.
War cuts us off from one another. It fills us with the grief of uncertainty, gripping us in the suspenseful double loss of not fully knowing what we’ve lost. Meanwhile, we ache for even a single word of hope, or simply the confirmation of our worst fear.
Last week, I sat at my desk writing about forgiveness in the darkness as the sun set. It was the end of my day, and my mind was fully immersed in my new book Practice Flourishing.
And then my phone lit up on my desk and glowed in the darkness.