Vol 7 No. 25 “Is It Safe?”

Dear Folks,

We live in a world that is daily assaulted with media images of war, floods, fires, rioting and poverty.  Those images come to us from around the world but they are also events that occur right around us.  Let us draw from the above list.

Our nation is involved in two wars; in Afghanistan and in Libya.  I know several personnel that have been deployed to Afghanistan; I spent a morning with a Naval officer on board the HMCS Charlottetown Frigate days before she left for the Mediterranean.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and other Western Canadian areas are experiencing their third major flood in less than 10 years.  This is the worst.  Six million acres of farmland may not be planted this year due to flooding.    A year in which drought and flooding elsewhere has also drastically reduced crops in China and Australia which are significant crop producers.

The fires in Alberta and Saskatchewan this year alone mirror the uncontrollable blazes that have occurred twice in British Columbia in the last 10 years.  The destruction of so much of Stave Lake reminds us once gain that our arrogance towards the natural world that our Lord has given us to care for is folly indeed.

We are rarely prepared for natural disasters, we are often surprised, we seldom learn from our experience and we always think it won’t happen again.

Poverty, especially in these rural areas where many floods and fires occur is under-reported and under-exposed.  It is also more prevalent than in the much heralded urban areas.  There are fewer resources in rural areas to challenge poverty.  Poverty becomes more challenging when, like on Monday of this week, a trailer park in Weyburn gets wiped out.

The CBWC family is working with CBM (it is regularly on our discussion agenda at Executive Staff) on how to respond with the North American Baptist Fellowship in times of crisis.  Claire McLean, our former Youth Coordinator, is an engineer and theology graduate who is seeking to find out ways we can support each other in such times.

Please pray for Weyburn and Estevan and other communities affected by the flooding.

Finally rioting.  Rioting, and the chaos that was exposed, when (as evidence piles up), the drunken middle class youth of the Lower Mainland rioted last week. Not the anarchists by and large nor the professional protesters of other events.  Our son, Andrew, who works on the Downtown Eastside with the Portland Housing Society (the poor plus) told me the sex trade workers and addicts he knew were far too smart to get involved in such an event.  I agree with him.  By and large it was the children and young adults of at least modest means, the products of our secular social experiment that can be credited for the mayhem.  They, and the rest of this sorry era who, from far before the Olympics, looked with disdain on the rest of the world.  Shame doesn’t quite capture it.  Public regret doesn’t quite wash…. nor wash it away.  Reflection, repentance and a sober change of heart will go some way…so far we have are a group of irresponsible rioters being replaced by some who are anti-rioting vigilantes whom the Vancouver mayor and former Justice Wally Oppal have spoken out against.

Our title today,  “Is it Safe” is cribbed from Lucy in the book, The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  The original reference is to Aslan, the Christ figure in the series.  The response to “Is he safe?” is perfect in these uncertain times; “Safe, of course he is not safe…but he is the King I tell you.”  Are we safe, no, but we are called not to hide in the strength of God but to reflect, resource, act and serve.  While we are hidden in Christ, we do not hide.  Our Lord sets us apart and sends us out…out to be Him in the world.  Christ isn’t safe, neither are we, but we are in His care, none the less.



In Christ,