There is a lot to be proud of in our response as individuals and as a country in the aftermath of the tragedy on Yonge Street this week. From the police who didn't shoot; to the politicians who didn't fan the flames of division for political gain; and the media who showed restraint and allowed the facts to unfold without speculating beyond repair; and all the people who stepped in to help in any way they could, sharing love not hate in the face of tragedy. Some have said it has been a very "Canadian" response.
The following was posted by Rev. David Giffen, of the Church of the Transfiguration, on Monday evening:
"He wasn't born this way. He can't have been. It keeps seeping into my mind as I watch my news feed scroll carnage and chaos in my city today. The name and the photo of the perpetrator stands still, and all I can think is, he wasn't born this way. He can't have been.
You aren't born wanting to sow anarchy and fear. You aren't born wanting to take life and limb and leave the rest to suffer. You aren't born filled with hate or violence or terror in your heart. He just can't have been.
He was made in the image and likeness and love of God. Just like me. He was born with potential and possibility and promise. Just like you. He was known in his mother's womb and cherished by our creator. No different than any of us is.
He wasn't born this way. He can't have been.
But, like us all, he was born into a broken and fractured world, just like every victim and every perpetrator. He was born with the prospect and possibility of both acts of goodness and the treachery of deceit. He was born into a corrupt and corruptible world where degraded love and systemic hate can shatter the life into which we first began.
He wasn't born this way. But this is who he became.
It pains me, perpetrator, but I pray for you on this day when you rained down terror and trepidation upon my beloved home. I pray for you because I believe it is the only way I won't become what you have today. I pray for you because so much of me wants to succumb to all the hate you make me feel inside. I pray for you because Christ says it is the only way.
May the violence end with yours. May the hate end with the blood of your victims. And may the fire that burns in our hearts be a fire desperate for the world that Jesus promised us - a world where there is no more tears, no more crying, and no more pain.
He wasn't born this way."
We love. We will heal. We are not alone.