When hockey sticks become prayers


Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.  Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.   (Hebrews 13:1-3 NLT)

When hockey sticks become prayers

Susan put my hockey stick in front of our house last Monday, joining thousands of other Canadians expressing our connection with the tragedy in Humboldt. Imagining ourselves in the situation of those in pain is a deep form of prayer. The verse today challenges us not to just shoot off verbal prayers – but prayers of deep compassion “as though you are there yourself”.

When we visit the prisoner, the suffering, the patient, we do something about it – we are present, we are encouraging, and we may actually take steps to alleviate their pain. Can we imagine what it is like to be in a gas attack in Syria, to be a Rohingya refugee, to be a victim of residential schools, or experiencing divorce, or facing terminal illness? What symbol do we put in front of our houses as signs of our prayers?

Our ability to respond is not without limits – only God has the capacity to respond to it all. But our quiet moments of empathy and action can be transformative parts of Jesus’ work of reconciling the world to God.

 A Prayer for Today

God of Compassion, a hockey stick is a small price to pay to support the grieving. The volume of stories of pain and suffering overwhelm me some days and all I can do is respond to some. Keep me aware of our call to love those near us, and to pray deeply for those suffering injustice and abuse.  …. For Jesus’ sake

Noteworthy: If you’d like a terrific read every couple of weeks my good friend Ron Nikkel draws on his years of prison ministry around the world to offer deep reflections on the love of God in these beautifully written articles entitled “Coracle”. Here’s a link….