It is always a privilege listening to people share stories of their lives. Last Monday I was fortunate to visit the Cherbourg Ration Shed Museum, as part of our ongoing interest in learning about First Nations perspectives and strengthening connections with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. The person leading the guided tour, was Cherbourg Elder, Aunty Jeanette Brown. Aunty Jeanette’s story was powerful, and helped give significant insight into what life was like for First Nations peoples during the time of early 1900s to 1960s in Cherbourg, and somewhat still today.
Her story was powerful and precious, and it was an honour to hear her story.
Every person has their own unique story. Sometimes when people are willing to share their story, we are given the privilege of listening. Jesus modelled this to us time and time again. He was the ultimate storyteller, and listener of stories.
Jesus showed us what it means to be truly present to another person and listen to them with his whole being. He listened with his head and his heart. And even when men, women and children didn’t think their story was worth being listened to, Jesus would say come – sit with me, who are you? Tell me your story.
So my time in Cherbourg and particularly spending time with Aunty Jeanette reminds me that there are many untold stories in our communities, and that we are called to go out and be listeners like Jesus. In particular, the stories of First Nations peoples need to be heard and cherished.
Strengthening relationships with First Nations peoples and learning more about Indigenous perspectives will continue to be a focus for the Identity and Formation team in 2022.
We would love to hear some of your stories about how you are engaging in this space!