Racing against horses

January 14, 2022

I have been struggling with motivation and inspiration to continue writing the GHPL in 2022. This happened once before, in 2007, a few months after I began writing it, and God clearly spoke to me at that time - distinctly in words - that I was to continue. This morning a post came across one of my chats reminding me of a post by Dutch Sheets that I had seen last week exhorting us to "be very diligent in prayer over the coming months". I thought, "How can I step back now?" ("If you get tired racing against people, how can you race against horses?" Jeremiah 12:5) Moments later, I committed to continuing and instantly knew what I would write about. Here it is.

Alberta has some impressive Muslim "firsts": first mosque in Canada, first Muslim big city mayor (Naheed Nenshi), first Muslim provincial cabinet minister (Larry Shaben) and first Muslim lieutenant-governor (Salma Lakhani). But over a period of 6 months in 2021, Edmonton had nine hate attacks, mostly directed at Muslim women. Seven of those resulted in criminal charges. In all but two cases, the accused were not the expected white supremacists but indigenous people dealing with issues like homelessness, mental health issues, addictions and residential school history. Alberta had more residential schools than any other province.

Haiqa Cheema, a hijab-wearing public policy advisor on hate crimes, says, "oftentimes, those who lash out at visibly Muslim women are marginalized themselves". Cheryl Whiskeyjack, Executive Director of Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, hears some in her own community complaining that Muslim newcomers are treated better than they are, and this perception "fosters seeds of hate". Muslim newcomers, including those who don't speak English, recognize that indigenous people are marginalized in this city. Efforts are being made to link both communities in positive ways, even exploring similarities between the two cultures. Responses to the hate attacks that involve healing are being promoted over punitive ones.

(See Edmonton Journal article, Oct 28, 2021, by Johnny Wakefield, "Why are Muslim women in Edmonton being attacked? Details reveal a complicated history") 

Isn't this a complicated mess? For many reasons, I did not know how to pray, but the Lord showed me at least some of His perspective. So let's not step back, but continue to be diligent in prayer.

Did anything in the brief summary above catch your attention? Is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about it? Pause, listen and respond.

Listen to Joyful Joyful by Casting Crowns. Sing the last lines as a prayer from your heart:

God our Father, Christ our Brother
All who live in love are Thine
Teach us how to love each other
Lift us to the joy divine

God our Father, Christ our Brother
All who live in love are Thine
Teach us how to love each other...

Reflect again:
I've been listening to this song for weeks. It just occurred to me today that true joy comes only out of worship of our Creator, whose joy it was to create and place us in an environment perfect for our well-being. As we joyfully adore Him, can we rely on that joy to sustain us as He teaches "us how to love each other", thereby lifting us to the joy divine, which is to love?

Pray that God's family, His church, will joyfully love our marginalized neighbours.


About Leslie

Leslie knows by faith and experience that our heavenly Father puts His prayers in our hearts and then listens to our hearts’ cry as we pray them back to Him. We hear God, and God hears us.

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No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion.

Nelson Mandela

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind. And your neighbor as yourself.