Tri-Churches Parish Nurse
Your latest Parish Nursing
posted on June 12, 2021
As if COVID-19 werenít enough, we now have a
new pandemic of hatred and destruction.
Within 2 weeks we have learned of a mass grave
at a former Indigenous residential school
containing the remains of 215 unidentified
children, and a family out for an evening walk
murdered by a 20-year-old white man with a
truck due to Islamophobia. I feel as if I am
swimming in an ocean of grief for those who
have been irrevocably hurt and guilt because I
am a white person with a British
So I am seeking answers and a way forward.
First, I am very grateful for family members
and friends from different backgrounds. In my
family are children who are part Asian, part
Black, and Metis and they are all wonderful
people whom we dearly love. And I have Muslim
neighbours who are very good friends, always
bringing me food when they have a family BBQ
and waiting to invite me over again when COVID
is gone. Having all these people in my life is
a truly enriching experience. The residential
school system is a more complicated matter
that weighs all of us down. The fact
that these things were happening at the
direction of the Canadian government without
our awareness, and worse still that the
churches were involved, is beyond terrible.
How can these things happen?
I believe that hatred is the offspring of
fear. We are afraid of things we donít
understand, of changes that may negatively
affect us, of not being in control. So we
build up terrible negative stereotypes in our
minds and seek to destroy the things we feel
threatened by. Hatred and discrimination
destroy not only those who are the objects of
hatred but also the haters. Regardless of
whether they ever face legal justice, the
haters live in self-imposed prisons for
life. This is not the Canada I
understood as I was growing up, and not the
Canada I want to live in now.
So how can we change things for the better?
I think the key is working hard not only to
recognize our potential hidden biases, but
also to ensure we open ourselves to learn
about those who are different. Under the skin
we are all children of God. The Bible is full
of stories about helping others (e.g. the Good
Samaritan). Jesus summarized all the law and
the prophets into the Two Great Commandments:
Love God first with all our heart, soul, mind,
& strength: and second, Love our
neighbours as ourselves. This may not be easy
but it is the way forward.
Even if we have never had negative thoughts
about others, terrible wrongs have been done
in our society and we need to acknowledge that
to the victims and to work hard to change a
culture that allows these things to happen.
Only then can begin to heal and go forward in
Let us all pray for Godís guidance, strength
and patience to help us.
Tri-Churches Parish Nurse