Reflection of the Week - 7 July 2020

Posted in Faith

Start the day with hope

Do all the good you can

Share kindness and compassion

End the day with gratitude.

I was not impressed to be wide awake at 5am this morning – and then I read these words and reflected on what I have to be grateful for. Mostly I felt grateful for the many family, colleagues and friends who have shared kindness and compassion with me over the years.

It will be good to re-connect face to face with colleagues again – I miss the incidental cheery smiles and hellos in the corridor, the kitchen chats as well as the deeper conversations.

As I thought about some dear neighbours, I was struck by the words of UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer during Refugee Week when she said, “As Christians, we believe that all people are created in God’s image and all people should have the opportunity to enjoy God’s gift of abundant life. Our life in Christ calls us to create communities that are characterised by love for one another, and of welcome and inclusion.”

When new people move into our street, we try to welcome them – often with a gift of garden produce. Some years ago a Hazara family moved next door and we welcomed them in the usual way. This initial welcome has developed into many shared cups of tea, participating in each other’s family celebrations, long conversations about our respective faiths and much sharing of food over the fence. This photo shows one of the many meals we have received.

One evening earlier this year during tight COVID19 restrictions, Andrew and I were really tired and our planned meal didn’t work (it’s a long story!). Andrew received a text message and was too tired to even check it. Then I received a text message. Our dear neighbours were checking if we were home since they had some food for us. Soon after, handed over the fence in carefully gloved hands, came a feast of flatbread, exquisite long grain rice and half a metre long barbecued skewers. We were very grateful!

We have been greatly blessed learning from and receiving hospitality from our Hazara friends. They in return feel welcome in Australia and are grateful for the opportunity to make a home here that is safe, where ‘the family members could expect to all come home at night… alive’. Yes, their hospitality is cultural, but it is also part of a conscious sharing and giving back to the country which has given the family a safe home.

Who are the people you are grateful to have in your life today? Are there new friends in your neighbourhood, with whom you could share kindness and compassion?

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