Mark, A.J. and I went downtown Hamilton last night to join thousands of others (not just in our city, but across the province along the 400 series highways) to witness Cpl. Cirillo’s return home. To stand alongside others in solidarity was both heartwrenching and incredible.
This morning I sat with some French toast and a mug of coffee in our family room. Our family room has 3 windows which let in lots of light throughout the day. A.J. was down for a nap and Mark working outside. I was reading Ashley Judd’s All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir (which, so far, I highly recommend). Her book outlines much of her advocacy and awareness work, and the particular chapter I read this morning was about self care and faith in times of witnessing devastation, travesty and injustice. The word refuge popped into my mind as I sat there in the light and quiet. I reflected on how thankful I am to live in a peaceful house, in a peaceful and friendly community (I am still amazed at the people who give a friendly wave as you walk or drive past – it doesn’t matter if you don’t know them!). This house is a refuge for our family, and I hope for anyone who comes to visit. But then, more importantly, I pondered God as our refuge.
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.”
Inside my house, I am able to feel peace. It is quiet here with little noise. But the noise of the world – injustice, poverty, exploitation, slavery – is still heavy in my mind, even in the refuge of our house. With this week’s events (shooting in Ottawa), the importance of refuge has been heavy on my mind. As I sat in peace, I was thankful that I have somewhere to relax and take refuge. But even the fears of the world follow us home – in our mind and our hearts – and are hard to cope with without faith.
“Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.”
Where or to whom do you go for refuge?