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Loss and Hope for Humboldt

Tue, April 10, 2018   |   Author: Peter Vogel   |   Volume 25    Issue 15   

Friday, April 6th will be remembered as a day that brought unbelievably hard news for the town of Humboldt, Saskatchewan; the bus carrying their hockey team, the Humboldt Broncos, was struck by a transport truck and fifteen were killed in that terrible accident.

Fifteen, mostly young men in their late teens and early twenties, were lost and fourteen more were injured, some seriously.

Our hearts go out to the community and especially to each of the families who lost loved ones. May God give grace and comfort to their hearts.

In times like this, we feel compelled to pause and consider the fragility of life. How often do we drive or take a bus and take for granted that we will arrive without delay or complication? Times like this remind us that “our lives are but a vapour.”

These times also make us ask why there is such tragedy and loss, and how God would allow this to happen. Following the accident, MacLean’s published a speech (a sermon, really) given by Sean Brandow, a pastor and chaplain for the team; you can read it here. His words were disarmingly honest. He did not try to explain what he did not know, but he pointed to God for hope going forward.

Many are going “through the valley of the shadow of death” and we as Christians search for ways to explain how we can still have hope in these dark times.

A week ago, Maclean’s would not have been likely to publish a sermon with a Christian message. But tragedy causes many to turn to something real. “Pray for Humboldt” was a message that was clearly given in many places by many people, including Don Cherry during Hockey Night in Canada.

The fact that prayer is mentioned is significant; we are a nation that is labelled “post Christian” and in many ways we are. But when we face death, we seem to know as a nation that it is not atheism that gives comfort or hope. We know deep down that God is real.

But that knowledge is a part of our heritage that is slipping away, and our nation must be reminded that God still reaches out to the brokenhearted. As Christians we not only pray, but we must be clear to Whom our prayers are directed! Let this tragedy be a reminder to each of us to use the time God has given us to tell others of the hope we have in God; He does not abandon us even in times of great tragedy and loss.

Pray also for the truck driver. He survived, and while no guilt has yet been assigned, he will also have to live with the questions about why and how this happened, perhaps how this could have been avoided.

We who were not there and affected directly should be thankful for each day that we are given, and use the time that we are given to help those in need of comfort or encouragement.

Thankfully, major tragedies like this are not frequent in Canada, but many people are going through difficult times and need comfort and help. A listening ear and a kind word may be all that someone needs. Let each of us be reminded to love our neighbour and share with them our faith and the resulting hope that carries us through good times and times of loss.

In closing, we again give our sympathies from the Christian Heritage Party to all who have suffered due to this accident. May God give you comfort.

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