Did you ever try to focus on something that was or is just too painful?
That’s what happened to me these past few weeks. I wanted to really dig into the tragedy of murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada but I found myself holding back. There are a few reasons for this. One might be my own experiences being marginalized. Another might be that the injustice and lack of public outcry angers me.
I have written previously about how poverty and prejudice impacted my life. While I am in a place now in which prejudice and out-casting no longer affect me, I am still hurting for those for whom it does affect.
And in these days of double racism, a dangerous idea in which people of color accuse white people of racism with racist chants and slogans of their own, there is so much division and hatred. Violent elements have taken advantage of this and have burned and destroyed businesses and lives under the umbrella of social justice. It feels like they are set to steal and kill and destroy.
Who does that remind you of? That’s right, Satan. “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Racism and prejudice steal relationships and love from us. Violence kills. Burning and looting businesses and government buildings destroys not just property but livelihoods. Satan is running America and he’s trying to run your country too.
In Canada, our divisions are not so outwardly dramatic but are very hypocritical. Our own impoverished people are normally considered lazy and undeserving here while another country’s impoverished are deserving our help. Minorites have more rights than majorities, Sin, like abortion, is seen as good. The Bible is treated almost as hate literature. We may not have outright street warfare, but we have intense spiritual warfare and it looks like the devil is winning.
And during this time in which culture is claiming to be inclusive–by excluding many voices of the average citizen–it continues to push certain segments aside. One such group are the poor. Many of the poor are people of color. Since poor people are seen as bad, lazy, and unwanted, many people of color are seen that way.
That is what angers me. I was pushed out because I was poor. I missed opportunities because the poverty from which I had come did not open the same doors as those from more affluent sectors of society. There was, and is, a prejudice to those who come from poor areas. For instance, I live in North Central Regina Canada. It is one of Canada’s poorest and roughest areas. Many refer to it as the hood.
When a woman from my neighborhood goes missing, there is hardly any attention given to her. I have seen this happen. Moms, daughters, sisters, and aunts, go missing and they may be a line or two in the media. Maybe. The families often lack influence and resources to ensure publicity. Even when murders occur in my area, it is often dismissed as just another crime in the hood. These people are marginalized because of poverty, geography, and a system that makes it hard for them to succeed.
The division in my country is that areas like North Central Regina develop a mistrust of mainstream culture. Their experience is not one of inclusiveness but of being pushed out devalued, and even being disdained. Mainstream culture does not want to be bothered with the people it marginalizes and sees poverty not as a society issues but as something poor people brought on themselves.
So, when impoverished Indigenous women go missing they dare not see them as one of their own. That is a maddingly true tragedy
What do we expect though since we let Satan run our country. Instead of following the devil, let’s turn to God who tells us to “Give justice to the poor and the orphan: uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.” (Psalm 82: 3)
A people who follow God are a blessed people. A people who follow Satan are a cursed people.
Chose this day whom you will follow Chose wisely.
“But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24: 15)
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Andy Becker is a pastor, retired counsellor and former CEO of a Hospice organization. Currently, his wife, Stella and Andy, lead both Lighthouse ministries and Bread of Life ministries in North Central Regina, one of Canada’s poorest and roughest neighborhoods. His book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.