Last Thursday (May 12th) was Moose Hide Campaign Day here in Canada. The Moose Hide Campaign is a grass root movement led by Indigenous people of Canada that supports the ending of violence against women and children.
According to its history, in 2011, the founder Paul Lacerte and his daughter Raven were hunting to their traditional Carrier territory in British Columbia when they came upon the Highway of Tears where many women had been lost or murdered. At that sad location, Paul and Raven were inspired to use the hide of the moose they had caught that day to advocate for the stopping of violence against women and children. And so the campaign began – men, women and young people would fast, take group walks, and/or wear the moose hide badge to show their commitment to standing up against violence against the women and children in their lives.
Two recent incidences made this year’s celebration stand out for me.
Firstly, I was incidentally reading Matthew 18 on May 09th and I could not but marvel at the kind of heart Jesus has. His disciples came to him and asked him who the greatest in the kingdom of heaven was, and he put a child in their midst, and said to all of them, “Hey folks, heads up. Unless you become converted AND you become as trusting, humble and forgiving as little children, you will not make it to heaven. If you become as humble as a little child, then you will be great in heaven.”
He didn’t stop there, and I will like to include Verse 5 of Matthew 18 for anyone who would dare demonstrate violence against children.
Jesus said, “If you receive a little child for my (Jesus’s) sake, you receive me. If you offend any child who believes in me, thereby making them to disobey my ways, it would be better for such person to have a millstone hung around their neck, and then drowning such fellow in a sea.”
Oh boy! What scary fate awaits anyone who demonstrates violence against children! I wish them luck!
What about women? I noticed that contrary to the norm of his day, Jesus constantly supported, uplifted, listened to, and brought women close.
I think about how some religious leaders brought a woman who had been caught disobeying the law to Jesus. The penalty of the offence she committed was death by stoning. For some weird reason, the woman’s accomplice wasn’t brought to Jesus for “judgement”. Only the woman was. And as this lady stood trembling before Jesus, I imagine that Jesus was moved with compassion. It was a dicey case. Should he support the woman in direct contravention of the law of their society, or should he side with the blood-thirsty mob? Well, Jesus demonstrated wisdom and expert judgement, and saved the woman from imminent death.
For more about how he expertly silenced the crowd, please read John 8:1-11.
Apart from this woman, several women were part of Jesus’s ministry. Some of noble character, others with rather unpopular pasts whom he drew close to regardless, and changed to honourable women.
Jesus is doubtlessly a man who is worth emulation today.
You would think that since we are in the 21st century and the campaign against violence started since like forever ago, people would have reset their mindset and ways. But sadly, we are not yet there.
Which leads me to the second incidence.
Ironically, on May 12th, a 22-year-old college student in Nigeria was lynched for a most absurd reason (if any reason at all could be considered valid for lawlessly taking the life of another). From what I gathered of the story, Deborah Yakubu lashed out against some of her classmates who misused a WhatsApp group chat they had set up for class subject discussion. They were said to have been sharing things about their religion in the group. When she challenged that, some fellows said her action was blasphemous to their faith and before you know it, a riot had sprung up against this poor girl. The school authority was said to have kept her in a safe place but somehow, the mob captured her, killed her, burnt down the building and covered the whole thing in a video that went viral.
We could go on and on sharing stories. But this violence has to stop.
We each have a role to play. We must be vocal and proactive.
- If you see someone preying on the weak and lowly, do what you can to rescue the latter or make their space safe.
- If you are the victim of violence, please do not stay put, or justify the evil in any way.
Think about that story I told earlier about Jesus and the woman caught in an offence. Do you think Jesus would support the brutality of human wickedness against you?
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26
Jesus care so much about you. 💙