It was with shock and great sadness that we heard of the stabbings at the Lynn Valley Library in North Vancouver on Saturday, March 27. To our horror, we learned that one woman died and six people were injured. Our prayers go out to the family and friends of the young woman who died and all those who are grieving her tragic death. We pray too for all those whose lives have been changed and scarred as a result of the actions of one man with a knife, those injured physically but also those who have been traumatized by this event. A quiet neighbourhood is left trying to determine some answers to the many questions that surface in the wake of this senseless violence. So many of us who have learned of these stabbings are left with feelings of grief and sadness and a deep sense of loss. There are no simple answers as to why this happened and I do not want to offer words that will fall far short of bringing comfort and calm. Words alone will not suffice.
These stabbings took place at one of the holiest times of the year for many different faith groups. For our Jewish brothers and sisters, it is Passover. For Muslims, Ramadan will be starting soon. For Sikhs, Vaisakhi will soon take place. For Christians, Sunday marked Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week. A week leading to Good Friday and Easter. This is a time of reflection upon our calling to holiness and peace. A calling to forgiveness and new life. A calling to push aside the evils of this life and seek instead a path of living out the love of God. A calling to follow the lead of Jesus Christ who invited us to be peacemakers.
My hope and prayer is that we will keep those affected by the stabbings in our prayers for this holy week. We pray for the woman who died and those who are injured. We pray for their families and friends. We pray for the community of Lynn Valley and those feeling deep shock and grief. We pray for all those who have read about this tragic incident and been deeply troubled. We pray for the perpetrator and his family. May the walk through this holy time bring God’s peace and holy presence. May our prayers bring healing and hope. May our lives be turned towards bringing an end to violence and senseless tragedy in this world. May we stand for compassion and caring of all people, following the example of Jesus Christ our servant, teacher, guide and saviour.
Loving God be with us at this time of sadness after the knife attack in North Vancouver. We pray especially for the woman who died, and for those who were injured. We give thanks for all the first responders, bystanders and medical staff taking care of those injured and affected. We also remember those who witnessed these events, or were close by, and have been traumatized by what they saw and heard.
Loving God, as we begin this Holy Week we pray for the peace of the world and for ways for all of us to work towards the end of all violence directed at others. Help us to feel safe as we go about our daily lives seeking to support and care for one another. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.