03 Jun 215 and Jesus Wept!
A few years ago, Susan and I went on a road trip. I always wanted to travel Route 66 through the United States. We connected with the highway in Oklahoma. In the tourist books one of the attractions was the site of the Oklahoma Bombing. I didn’t know too much about the bombing but we thought we would check it out. What I was not expecting was to be emotionally affected for the rest of our trip.
Where the building once stood is now a large pool of water with 168 chairs overlooking the pool. Some little chairs alongside the larger ones. Each chair represents the people that were lost in the blast. There is a display of shoes blown off people’s feet. Some of the shoes were little running shoes of children who were in the day care located in the building and were killed by the blast of the bomb. It was profoundly moving.
Across the street is a large statue of Jesus overlooking the disaster site. It sits on the church property of the church that was demolished due to the damage of the blast.
The statue depicts Jesus weeping. As I took the picture of the statue I could feel emotions rise up within me and tears welling within. That picture has been the screen saver picture on my cell phone ever since. There were a lot of innocent people affected by the senseless violence that day but it was the children that affected me most.
This week as I heard of the 215 children who were buried in unmarked graves on the grounds of the Residential School in Kamloops, the same emotions rose up with in me. It is as if I could see Jesus standing over those unmarked graves, with small running shoes marking the spot and Jesus weeping.
The Bible says that Jesus wept over the death of his friend Lazarus. He certainly wept over the senseless death of those in the act of homeland terrorism in Oklahoma City and I am positive Jesus weeps over the tragic death of those 215 children in Kamloops. He weeps over the numerous tragedies we don’t know about. Was it abuse, measles, TB? Regardless, to add insult to injury the deaths were not documented and the families were not notified. They were taken from their families to learn assimilation. That is to lose their own culture and take on another.
As a privileged white guy, I can’t even begin to understand how communities throughout our country are going to process this secret finally revealed.. All I know is that we stand with our brothers and sisters and proclaim “all children matter!”
I don’t know how we go forward in this country as we come to terms with the affect a government policy had on the lives of Residential School survivors or those who died in the supposed care of those who were to care for the vulnerable. All I know is that I am sure Jesus wept! He continues to weep over the actions of a few. We too need to weep over the decisions made in our country and by the church that has affected so many.
Today my Musing is not along the lines of preaching or teaching. Just an expression of grief and sadness.
Come Holy Spirit – the Comforter to come alongside those affected by this atrocity!
Rev. Merv Lanctot
Faith grows in the soil of hope