A Response to Humboldt and the Toronto Van Attack
April has been a sad month for Canada. On April 6, a bus carrying 23 junior hockey players, their coaches, and trainers collided with a semi-truck leaving 16 people dead and 13 injured.
A few weeks later, a man rented a van and proceeded to mow down pedestrians on a sidewalk in northern Toronto. He killed 10 people and injured 15 more before he was eventually arrested.
As Christian people we naturally struggle with how to understand and respond to events like these.
In the face of tragedy, hate, murder, violence, and death, living out our faith becomes difficult. How should we make sense of these situations and find God in them? How can we speak with a Christian voice to those who have been affected?
It is especially in times like this, that we need to be reminded of the truths of scripture. The Bible can an anchor for us to hold on to and a place to make sense of it all.
Consider Romans 8:21. In this passage, Paul reminds us that we are caught in the midst of a broken world. This has been our assumed framework since the fall, but Paul also says, at the very same time, that we have hope. The creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into freedom and glory.
This Biblical framework does not prevent the terrible, hurtful, twisted, unfortunate and evil events from happening. Nor does it prevent those events from wounding our spirit. Yet, Paul concludes in a way that I think is helpful to us all, “but if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
This is faith instruction. This is the answer to "what do we do now?" In cases like the Humboldt accident and the Toronto killings, there is often not an immediate answer that sets it all aright, but we know there is a fuller, broader, eventual answer in Christ that comes with the instruction ... "wait for it patiently."
Let me encourage you to pray. Pray with and for others who are hurting in these sad times. Pray for patience as we wait for Christ's imminent return when all will be made well. And pray for the spirit’s leading as we strive to model Christ in a broken world.
I leave you with a truth that churches have used for centuries as a repeated refrain to remind themselves of the anchor that we tie ourselves to, "Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again."