Sticks Out for Humboldt

This week we have all been citizens of Humboldt, Saskatchewan.  Though none of us can even begin to imagine the loss this community has suffered, we are united with them in their grief and it goes beyond hockey. Hockey is undeniably part of the fabric of our nation. The tragic death of fifteen young Canadians would have broken the heart of our nation no matter what the youth were in the midst of doing, but the fact they were playing hockey cut to the heart of every parent who has laced up their child’s skates, risen early in the morning to get them to a house league game, or stayed up late to flood the back yard to build a rink. It has touched every grandparent who has been called on at the last minute to drive their grandchild to an unscheduled practice or game, and every driver who has stopped with delight while the children playing road hockey moved the nets to let their car through. As we have listened to the names and heard their stories, these boys have been with us at the dinner table and in line at the coffee shop. They have entered our homes and our hearts. Their parents have become our neighbours and friends and we have wanted only to help.

Apart from the wonderful response of people across this country giving generously and praying faithfully for the victims and their families and the community involved, there has also been understanding voiced for those who were part of the confusion that led to the misidentification of a victim, and there have even been expressions of grace towards the errant driver. It is not just hockey or winter that makes us great as a nation. Above all, it is love for our neighbour. Ever since Humboldt took the meanest of hits there has been an outpouring of nothing but goodness, kindness, compassion, sympathy, and faith. As we continue to grieve and offer gifts and prayers for Humboldt, let us be mindful of what a great gift each day is and remain true to that which makes us truly great – love and kindness.