Hi there, my name is Pastor Joel Pike and I serve as Chaplain for Lake Ridge Care Center and Assisted Living. We here at Lake Ridge remember that tragic day, February 9th, 2021, with the shooting at the Allina Health Clinic. We remember the life of Lindsay Overbay, as well as those who survived. We honor the heroism of our policemen and women in our First Responders.
Out of that tragedy something beautiful has risen in response. Buffalo Strong. Proving that we’re a community that is resilient, compassionate, and willing to take the steps needed to care for each other, in hopes that this kind of thing never happens again.
I want us to think for a minute about what it means to be Buffalo Strong. Tragedies like this, first of all, remind us of all of our own frailty. We never thought this kind of thing could happen in our home town. But, now there’s an increased sense of vulnerability, on top of the uncertainty that we’ve all dealt with these last couple of years.
Here at Lake Ridge vulnerability is a reality that we work with every day, as we care for the vulnerable adults in our community. What does it mean to be strong when our bodies are failing us, or our lives are in danger? We will all at some point be vulnerable. We will need others to care for us when our strength is failing. We resist those days because we are a hard-working people. We don’t want to be needy. But Buffalo Strong is a strength that comes from admitting our need. Admitting that maybe we’re not all that strong in some areas. That emotionally, financially, relationally, spiritually we don’t have it all together. Admitting our need is not weakness. It is actually one of the strongest things that we can do.
God has designed us not to be independent, but interdependent. He’s the author of family, the creator of the concept of community. These things reflect who he is as a Trinitarian God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Living in an interdependent, loving relationship, with each other and then extending an invitation to us to know that same kind of love. And also to be conduits of that same kind of love to the people around us.
The very basis of our faith is that we need saving. That, in a world where there’s darkness and evil…darkness around us, and even inside of us…we need Jesus to change our hearts to fill us with his light and goodness. And then, He offers a hope and a joy to flow from His strength, which can get us through even the hardest times. This is just not a spiritual reality, but something that touches every area of our lives as individuals, and as a community. We do sometimes need help. There’s some things we can’t just muscle our way through on our own without hurting ourselves or without hurting others. To be Buffalo Strong means reaching out to others who can help us be strong in areas we are not. Let’s ask the hard questions about why these things happen. Let’s use the resources at BuffaloStrong.care. Let’s come together on February 9th to remember and become a community that pursues wellness together. In our humility and in our honesty we will find real strength…and truly become Buffalo Strong. Thank you for your time. God bless you.