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posted by Kris Martens June 16, 2011
Restoration work post-riot

Post-Riot Restoration & Repentance

Home Page Slideshow - rotator_riot_restoration1

Home Page Slideshow - rotator_riot_repentance

After this Wednesdays mayham on the streets of downtown, Reality's 'fight club' (mens bible study) spent some time Thursday morning serving as part of the restoration. 
We were able to serve in small ways - loading up a landscaping trailer with broken glass, burnt manequins from storefronts & offering encouragement to those we saw.  We joined a small army of other volunteers in the restoration work.  It was beautiful, but odd.

Senseless anarchist-motivated property destruction on one side - swarms of onlookers gawking with their iphones - TV crews & city workers eager to show Vancouver's positive side - set amidst a population clinging to the hope that 'we're better than this'. 

Are we?  Really? 

An interesting development was the impromptu 'wall of repentance' that sprang up on some plywood covering up broken storefront windows.   There was genuine remorse, frustration, and heaps of comments seeking to assuage our global humiliation.   
  'We don't deserve this'
  'These weren't Canuck fans'
  'This doesn't reflect the people who live here'
And the healing begins.  As the city-idolatry continues.

I, too, love this city.  I love my neighbours.  I love Jesus, and I love the time & place he's called us to work out the Gospel.  Which is why I'm not surprised at all by what happened Wednesday night (on & off the ice) nor on the streets Thursday morning. 
We're more broken than we tend to realize - there's more pent-up frustration than we dare imagine - and when temptation gives rise to opportunity it occasionally erupts in mayhem.  While it may be interpreted as our obvious need for a Saviour, our usual response is to work extra hard in an attempt to save ourselves. 
But as great as our collective clean up was - and it was - it's not as easy to squeegy away the reality that thousands of our neighbours destroyed, documented, gawked & cheered as if the downtown business district was a set from Lord of the Flies.   Sin happens.  Sin happened.  And in a moment of pre-meditated & spontaneous chaos, we showed true colours.  What we're capable of outside the law & in the 'freedom' of perceived anonymity.  The culture interprets this as partial anarchy, the Gospel calls it total depravity. 
Vancouver - we do need a Saviour.  One to make sense of our mess, our condition, our past-present & future. And One to bring a total & lasting restoration to all things. 

May this week's craziness give rise to opportunities for gospel conversations and a Gospel response to those wresting with eternal questions. 
Soli Deo Gloria.