As I was watching the Dallas Stars’ penultimate game of the 2017-18 season, I was devastated to hear the news from Kathryn Tappen (sports hostess on NBCSN) that a semitruck and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos, a Junior A hockey team, had crashed into one another in Saskatchewan, Canada. My immediate thoughts of shock turned into instant prayers for comfort and peace for the families of everyone involved.
The next day, I found out that fifteen people had lost their lives: ten players, the bus driver, the head coach, an assistant coach, a volunteer statistician, and a play-by-play broadcaster, all with the Humboldt Broncos.
As I still contemplate the tragic events and pray for those involved (including the truck driver and his family), I am reminded that when a good friend of Jesus’s had died, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Jesus understands such deep grief as the people most closely affected by this tragedy are feeling right now. He understands how one’s heart may feel crushed for the losses suffered by people one doesn’t even know, as my heart and many others around the globe are feeling now for the Humboldt Broncos and the truck driver.
He understands because He’s been there. He knows what it’s like to lose a friend. He knows what it’s like to grieve with that friend’s sisters. He knows exactly how deep and wide and long that pain lasts, how badly it sears the soul.
Today, let us remember to pray for the survivors of the Humboldt Tragedy, their families, and the families of those who perished. Let us recall that Jesus is with us and understands our grief, because He’s felt it before.
Let us cherish all the deeper those we love, for we do not know when the next tragedy might strike too close to home.