Last Saturday evening, I stood with my son in the Boston Gardens as we shared a moment of silence to remember those who have been touched deeply by this tragedy. I was able to put my arm around my son, to hold him. I couldn't help but think of the moms and dads who would love to hold their son one more time; the sense of loss is almost unimaginable, it really is every parent's worst nightmare.
Over the past few days I thought about the many times we travelled the back roads of Dufferin county, sharing hours in the van as we travelled to hockey rinks in small towns and in larger centres. I thought about the number of times I stood in the corner of the rink, my sight line directed at the goal crease; Scott always seemed to know exactly where I was in the rink. I loved that season we shared together. We too have put our son on the bus to play the game he loves. The game of hockey really is part of our country's identity. The hockey community is a tight-knit group; the out pouring of support from across our nation does not surprise me; we are united both in our love for the game and in our grief.
On my return trip I spoke with an airline crew member, a young man who himself was a hockey player; he was travelling to Calgary where he would then make his way to his hometown, a small community which is also the hometown of one of the Broncos players who did not survive the crash. He said, 'everyone in the town will be a there' (at the memorial service). Such stories are being multiplied across the prairies and across our nation.
For the Christian community, our hearts ache with the people of Humboldt; there is a sadness that touches us all. Humboldt is the place where sorrow and grace have collided; it is the place where our God can bring hope and healing in a time of darkness and despair. Pray for Humboldt.
As the Broncos chaplain said, 'we need to hear from God'. Thankfully God has revealed Himself as the God who sees and the God who cares; who meets us in the dark and scary places of life; in the very valley of the shadow of death and leads us to the green pastures and quiets waters--to a place of rest and peace. (Psalm 23)
Each of has people in our lives who need to hear from God; from the One who is our refuge and strength. (Psalm 46:1) As we pray for the people of this small community in Saskatchewan, may we be reminded to pray for our loved ones that God would speak into their lives.
On the evening before my return flight, I had dinner with Scott and Tiffany; after I put my arms around them and prayed for them and we said goodbye. The events of last Friday have reminded us that life is fragile; live it fully, embrace the ones you love, let them hear the words, 'I love you'.
Thanks for letting this hockey dad share a bit of my heart with you.