As I was getting into my van this afternoon, I noticed three large vehicles parked beside the plaza behind my house. They were all parked very close together and I soon discovered that they were filled with police officers. These police officers were heavily armoured, looking ready for some sort of mission. But I wasn't afraid.
Later, while chatting with my super in the parking lot, I heard for the first time in real life the sound of assault rifles being cocked. As I watched, police officers donned more armour, readied their weapons and got ready for battle, all this happening right behind where I live. But I wasn't afraid.
Even though there were men with guns in close proximity, I wasn't afraid. These were the police, and they're trustworthy. As a parent, I teach my children to go to the police when they are in trouble. But I've realized recently how fortunate I am to have this protection. In many parts of the world, the police and military forces are not friendly. Instead they are corrupt, sometimes impeding justice, other times actively working against it.
There are many other ways in which I'm blessed, so many that I don't even realize them. The sound of airplanes overhead fills my children with delight, not fear. We can run across an open field, not fearful of landmines waiting to shred innocent bodies. There are no armed guards at the grocery store. I can ride the bus without fear of bombers. I can practice my faith without fear of arrest or death. There are many more blessings I can add to this list. Far too many for my peace of mine. I am too blessed.
This is why the proposed Bill C-49 has me upset. The plight of the refugee resonates strongly with me, even though I have always known safe haven. Canada's welcome and care of refugees is one of the many reasons I am proud to be Canadian. Our organization works with and cares for refugees all around the world, including right here in my city, which is another reason I love International Teams so much. As we have served with IT, I have learned and cared much more about the plight of the refugees. Then one became my friend. Her story broke my heart, opened my mind and caused me to pray a lot more. Her family is the reason my children participate in the Ride for Refuge.
I'm not exactly sure why I'm writing this. Mostly because I can't keep silent. Here is an article to read and here is more information especially on contacting your local MP. I know that this is a complex issue, but I am frustrated by the general apathy, indifference or even rejection shown towards those who have known hardship we can barely even imagine. I'm not sure how to end this, so thank you for reading my little rant. Please read further, find more information and act.