Wednesday, 8 February 2017

A Reflection after the Mass Shooting in a Quebec Mosque - We are the Light

The church today is being called to be a light in a world. This light illuminates the dark, broken parts of the world. But the light also causes growth, warmth and radiance.

I attended a candlelight vigil this week after the shooting in the mosque in Quebec. It was on Dalhousie campus, run by the student Islamic society.

I went with Anne. Anne and I were surrounded by people of different races, young and old, women and men, some were wearing hijabs and some were wearing crosses, Together, Anne and I held an unlit candle. Together, we stood in solidarity with those sharing their stories…. with those who lost their lives.

Our candle was lit by the man standing next to us. It was cold and windy, so the candle went out. He lit it again, I protected it from the elements….
it worked for a short time…. and then went out.

It was HARD to keep the candle burning.

Neighbours passed the light over & over again each time the light was extinguished.

Muslims shared their flame with Christians, An African Nova Scotian lit the candle of an indigenous woman, the light spread, women to men, old to young.

We listened.
We listened to people share stories of their grief, their fear, their pain,
…. but we also watched HATE MELT away, as love and hope grew.

The divide between “us” and “them” blurred as we stood, holding our candles, unified in silence.

Maybe this is what Jesus meant when we called his followers, when he calls us,
to be light in the world.

What does this mean for us? It doesn’t mean necessarily to do anything grand,
but it is our jobs to keep passing the light, even when it keeps going out!

Especially, when it keeps going out.

We can be hope for one another, in times of darkness.

We can pray for each other and the world, We can pray for healing, peace and wholeness. And we can be kind to each other, respecting our differences,
celebrating everything that brings us together.

We are called to shine light on the brokenness of the world.
We can listen to each other’s stories and share in the burdens we carry.

We are called to use our lives to mirror the hope and love that can only be found in God.


~Written by Shannon MacLean following the murder of 6 praying men in their place of prayer… “A mass shooting occurred on the evening of January 29, 2017, at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, a mosque in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood of Quebec City, Canada. Six people were killed and nineteen others injured when a lone gunman opened fire just before 8:00 pm, shortly after the end of evening prayers. Fifty-three people were reported present at the time of the shooting.”

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