I’ve been holding off writing about this one.

As you may have heard (some of you live in another country), a horrific tragedy occurred this week just a kilometer from our church. While the details are still sketchy, we know that the other day police arrived at a home to discover five people dead throughout their house — three adults, including a basement tenant, and two little girls. While the clues seem to lead in a certain direction, the authorities are saying that we may never really know what happened. What we do know is that the scene was so horrific that the first responders had to receive grief counseling immediately afterwards. It was the worst thing they’d ever seen in their whole careers.

As a leader in the community I feel a deep responsibility to do what we can, to offer a shoulder and a place to cry for those who need it. Our candlelight vigil is a step in that direction. I’m glad to hear about the genuine friendships and community that already exist in Dalhousie — a crisis like this really highlights that. I’m also hoping that those who don’t feel connected — not just in Dalhousie but everywhere in our city will find the courage to reach out and find vital friendships where they live, work, and play. I just wish there was more that we could do. Maybe the “more” will materialize on the road ahead.

I was interviewed by Global news and the Calgary Herald yesterday. It was surreal. The Global piece on TV seemed fair and the Calgary Herald article was okay (although I can’t comprehend why a quarter page picture of me was relevant), and it also put some stuff in a context that could be misinterpreted and I hope that it doesn’t result in more confusion in an already painful time. They made it sound like I think that the community isn’t well connected, which was not my intent at all. I guess I have to leave the ‘press’ to God.

As I’ll say on Sunday, there are no “answers” or explanations for a tragedy like this. Just context. Context laps at the edges of “How”, but it does not answer “why.” It never can. My heart is heavy for the families, for the friends and neighbors, for everyone who has been deeply marred by this awful event. My prayers are with them. And best of all, I know that you, Lord, are with them, arms open wide. Please God, let them discover your peace in the midst of their pain.