I'm posting this in R&F because, for me, it’s how we conduct ourselves in our daily life that’s the true measure of our faith.
Twenty years ago, Dr. Michael Irving had a vision – he dreamed of creating a monument to honour the survivors of child abuse. Not just any monument. This would include the images and words of over two hundred child abuse survivors and the “handprints” of up to a million supporters.
He’s been laboring ever since to bring that vision to fruition, gathering, along the way, an impressive range of supporters.
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Irving. He’s a dedicated and compassionate man who’s devoted his life to helping others. I find that dedication inspiring.
I’ve written an article on the Golden Rule Radical about the Child Abuse Survivor Monument and Dr. Irving’s plans to complete it within the next year. Rather than retell the story here, I’ve included the link.
There’s a website for the Monument, but it’s a bit disorganized – kind of like my desk. The GRR article includes links to some of the key pages, as well as a Facebook group and Twitter account. The group has over a thousand members and almost as many people follow the project’s progress on Twitter.
There’s even a meditation “pond” on the site. I’ve used it several times.
I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to read the article, and perhaps participate in the upcoming campaign to finalize the bronzing of the monument and to secure a permanent home for it on the grounds of Queens Park. (For those who may not know, Queens Park is Ontario’s legislative complex in Toronto).
To me, if faith doesn't compel us to action - if it's just a bunch of words, whether typed into a forum or pronounced from a pulpit - its meaningless. Dr. Irving could have been content with his work as a therapist. That's surely action enough.
This monument is more. Over the years, it's touched people across Canada. The testimonials on the website come from all walks of life. The words and tears of the survivors, the enthusiasm of the children involved in the "Give Kids a Hand" campaign, the support of politicians and business people, speak to the creation of an image that crosses all boundaries, embraces all experiences, respects all those who are vulnerable.
That inclusiveness, to me, is the most powerful expression of faith.