Sunday, April 22, 2018

It shouldn't be like this

Joyce Sasse - “How sad it is!” That’s how I started my column last week. So much has been made of those affected by the Humboldt Hockey Bus Disaster. I don’t want to take anything away from that, but the response has made me feel even deeper pain…

I want to raise a contrasting question – about the silence and seeming apathy of so many when it comes to the unaccounted lives of “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” across Canada.

They too were daughters, sisters, mothers, and friends of more than one thousand Indigenous families, but their significance seems to be ignored by too many.

As I recall how my own life has been enriched by some of their elders, I weep for these lost treasures.

My blind friend, for example, shares stories of the special gift of insight she has gained because she no longer has use of her own eyes. Her sharing these stories opens me to truths beyond my knowing.

She also tells, with excitement, what it meant to her when a Muslim woman, upon learning she was Blackfoot, thanked her for sharing her land with foreigners.

Years ago, when I was asked to give a talk about “Aboriginal Culture”, an Indigenous colleague accompanied me and described how the sweetgrass smoke, the sound of the drums, and the presence of an eagle feather helped her understand what Christianity meant for her people. These can be reminders for all of us how our Mother, the Earth, gives us life.

Years later, when that same wise minister worked with the street people in Calgary, she told how she used scarce dollars to purchase “fresh buns” for serving communion. Consider how precious even a small taste of fresh bread is for people who are usually given only stale left-overs!

The sensitivity implicit in each of these stories has enriched my understanding of what it means to try to live as Christ would have us live.

We must find ways to show that we care about those who are missing and murdered, and about how this dreadful loss affects all of us!

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