Thursday, July 01, 2021

A Complicated Canada Day

 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

Romans 12:15 NIV

Healing Fire at the Niagara Regional Native Centre, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Today, we’ve held conflicting emotions in our hands:

We’ve spent the last decade touring every province in Canada. 
We’ve seen firsthand the beauty, grace, and generosity of our diverse and beautiful people.

We also mourn the loss and mistreatment of indigenous children. 
We recognize the role of our government in this abuse, 
but even worse, we recognize the role of our churches.

This morning, we visited the Healing Fire at the Niagara Regional Native Centre. We heard singing & drumming. We were invited to add medicines to the fire, and lift our prayers for healing. We gathered to “mourn with those who mourn.”

In the afternoon, we spent time exploring our beautiful Niagara countryside, soaking in the glorious sunshine. We shared a piece of cake with our neighbours. We connected with family online, counting down the days til we can finally see each other in person.

Mourning. Rejoicing. Conflicting emotions. 

I wish I could give you some great succinct nugget of wisdom today, but the truth is, there is no simple way to sum up how we feel today. We, as a country, as communities, as individuals, are working through something dark and complicated. 

It’s going to be hard. It should be hard. 

When we were invited to add medicines to the fire, we asked, 
“As non-indigenous people, is it okay for us to do this?” 

The fire tender answered, 
“People are people. We all need healing.”

Oh Canada, may we mourn, may we heal, 
and may our journey together transform us into something better. 


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