While I am blessed to be a Canadian, I am not happy in this day and moment to celebrate all that Canada is and has stood for. Canada has afforded our family many reasons to give thanks. We have lived with great opportunity opened to us. I have been able to live a life exercising the “freedoms” that I have wanted in this country. However, being thankful and recognising my blessings does not mean that I have any excuse to ignore and hide trouble, behind what I don’t want to see, pretending it doesn’t exist. When we are diagnosed with a terrible disease, while we are grateful to have life, we don’t celebrate the disease. When I was diagnosed with Cancer, it did not stop me from giving thanks to God for the health I felt in that moment. I had just lived through a year of eight surgeries and great sickness. I was very thankful for that and was celebrating that victory. But in order for me to move forward to better health, that celebration needed to stop even though gratitude didn’t. I live with some debilitating health issues, that have affected my quality of life at times. I can be grateful for the good I have experienced and lived, knowing that even with these health conditions life is not completely horrible and there is much for which I can give thanks. Yet, there have been many moments that gratitude alone for what was working, did not, has not and will not help what wasn’t and isn’t. Something else needed to be done.

The next step for all of us is not to perpetuate sin but to keep uncovering what breaks God’s heart so that change can come.

This is the same for Canada in this time in history making. Knowing what we know, what has been found out, the diagnosis of the state of the heart of Canada, the only response that I think would be beneficial is deciding that now is not the time to celebrate, but the time to listen, to learn and to make changes. I believe that there are two very important voices that need to be given our attention and focus. The first is God. The second are the voices of those who are hurting- our Indigenous people. I believe we will be able to hear what our Indigenous family has and needs to say once God has our ear and has first done the work in us that He needs to do. So, I will focus my thoughts here.

God always tells us what we need to hear, even when it isn’t always what we want to hear. John 8:32 tells us, “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” To stay in bondage is to deny the truth. When truth has been revealed and lies exposed you are responsible for what you do with what you know. The next step for all of us is not to perpetuate sin but to keep uncovering what breaks God’s heart so that change can come. Ephesians 5:11 says, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11, “But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible.” God has brought his light to us so that healing can begin. We cannot unsee what has been shown to us.

We must keep our ears listening to Him and putting into action what the word of God directs or we go back to where we started, living in deception.

Jesus said many times in scripture “He who has ears to hear let them hear.” In the times Jesus spoke, he was talking about the kingdom breaking forth and bringing liberty. Whoever wanted to be set free, had to take note of, follow and obey, recognize, that freedom had come. Even when God sent a message about destruction to the Ninevites, because they listened, he moved with compassion. He was responding to a heart change. Paul was a murderer, yet again God changed his heart and life because he allowed God to do so. If God didn’t move, many of us would not be here today. God is moving to clean hearts so that the next generation has a future. God’s love made all the difference then and needs to now. God is giving us an opportunity to follow His word in Romans 12:9 that states, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil. Hold fast to what is good.” We can only be genuine in love, being right with God. Right now, He has exposed disease and is trying to bring us to a place of healing. We must listen to His heart and His word alone or healing is not going to happen. We must come to terms with our disease and follow the treatment plan.

Colossians 2:8 tells us to, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to elemental spirits of the world and not according to Christ.” We have been deceived and following tradition that should never have been and truly not according to Christ. He is the treatment plan. He is the only way out of this mess. The Word will tell us what to do. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22. We must keep our ears listening to Him and putting into action what the word of God directs or we go back to where we started, living in deception. Deception has ruled for too long. It is time to come to terms with our disease and follow the treatment plan. Only God can change us. Ezekiel 11:19 says, “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,”. May our prayer be as David prayed in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit with me.” I am thankful that God loves us just the way we are but too much to leave us this way. With gratitude, let’s stop and let God do His work so that we can celebrate again soon.