The Story in our Scars: Jesus Knows the Depth of Humboldt’s Pain


Athletes know a lot about pain. The pursuit of pushing your body to its physical limit requires the stretching, tearing and repairing of muscles to make you stronger. The pain has a purpose. The pain is a warning. The pain is needed to become a different version of yourself.
Sometimes though, pain is unintentional and can leave scars that will not fade away. As so eloquently put by Humboldt, Saskatchewan, pastor Sean Brandow, “Scars show something that was raw but is now healed.” Scars are the healing result of pain. Pastor Brandow served the Humboldt Broncos hockey team as their Chaplain, and was among one of the first people on the scene of the horrific bus crash that claimed the lives of 16 people and injured 13 others. He recounts holding the hand of a lifeless body and thinking, “This is the valley of the shadow of death… this is the valley of darkness.”

During the vigil on Humboldt’s home ice, he addressed an arena of grieving parents and community members. His tearful message included a question he’s heard over and over, “I wonder if this community will ever be the same?” A local woman remarked earlier in the day, “We go to the grocery store and we all look at each other in a sad way.” This is the rawness of a community in mourning.
But on that evening, on national television, we saw how a Christian Believer wrestles through questions we all ask during times of unimaginable grief…

“Where was God?”

“When invincibility disappears, you realize your frailty,” said Brandow in an interview with 100 Huntley Street, “and I think that’s a good thing.” Pain can warn us that when our bodies are weak, they’re susceptible to break…they need to be stabilized. When our lives are shaken, “We only find stability in something that is unmoving − and that’s Christ,” he shares.

This article from Crossroads Reach Magazine May/June 2018 edition.