Today, justice and grace walk hand in hand through our nation.
The unanimous Supreme Court of Canada decision to keep Insite open is a victory for the Kingdom of God. The decision today has sparked discussion among Christians about harm reduction philosophies - the Church is starting to take note. This will continue as the door has been opened for more supervised injection sites to open around the country. Fortunately, harm reduction initiatives like Insite are so fully in line with the Christian faith, that the only barrier is our own fascination with judgment and stigma rather than justice and grace.
As a Christian nurse who worked at Insite, I have been privileged to experience grace in a way I didn't learn about in Sunday School. I witnessed grace every time I brought an addict back to life from a drug overdose, giving them back their future. I lived grace each time I handed an injection drug user a clean needle, essentially telling them that I have hope for their recovery one day and that I want them to experience their days of peace HIV-free. I have received God's boundless, undeserved grace, delivered as His Son lay dying on a cross, given while I was still a sinner. It is the least I can do to enter into the pain and darkness of injection drug use and bring this same light of grace compassionately to those who bear my Love's image.
Those who preach justice, need to preach whole justice. Justice on the foster system that created a girl who'd rather be a prostitute, because at least on the street she gets paid for what her family took for free. Justice on the residential school system that contributed to the current situation of incredible poverty among First Nations people. Justice on the society that has marginalized and neglected those suffering from the disease of addiction, labeling them junkies instead of patients. We must first turn to ourselves in judgment, before judging those self-medicating their emotional pain with drugs. Thankfully, in this situation, when whole justice happens, grace abounds. There is grace enough for all of us. We can move forward together in God's hands, caring for one another.
And so, it is my dream that Christians will re-engage with the unreached people group that is hardcore active drug users, bringing with them love, compassion, whole justice, and healing through the grace inherent in harm reduction. As they do so, they will find they are joining the Kingdom of God at it spreads through our land.