The Need for Healing
This last week, our community suffered a significant tragedy with the death of Kedarie Pierre Johnson. I did not know Kedarie, though he would have sat two rows behind me at church off and on over the past couple of years. He attended Harmony Bible Church at its Burlington location, Aldo Leopold Middle School, and was also involved at Kayla’s Cupboard and at the Maple Leaf Center, both of which are associated with Harmony as well. Sunday service was fairly emotional, remembering several difficult circumstances that are being felt by members of our church community, but specifically for the circumstances associated with Kedarie’s passing. I have had the opportunity to be around our police department as they have been involved in the investigation of this incident, and have seen the pain and stress that they have had to endure. Sunday morning reminded me very much of how difficult this has been for all, and I very much appreciated the recognition of this and the prayers offered for all who have been impacted.
The message that Pastor Jeremy Hess shared involved several elements that are relevant to the pain that many are feeling. Specifically, he spoke of the need for hearts to be encouraged and for hearts to be knit together in love. This spoke to me; I know my heart needs to be encouraged. I know that as I think of the pain that has occurred to so many, that I need to consciously recognize my need to stay focused on what truly matters. I need to continue to move forward with a heart that seeks to build our City of Burlington together. That is not always easy in times of pain. My hope is that our community will be able to move forward seeking bonds that tie us closer together. Burlington has proven to be a great place to be. My hope is that we all are able to move forward through struggles such as this, to find a source of hope for the future, and overcome these afflictions.
I have seen many hurt over the past week. I have also seen many remembering the positive things about Kedarie, and coming together as one to support each other. I pray that we can continue to do that over the days and weeks ahead as a community.