All posts tagged: healing

Through war, a new country & unplanned fatherhood

#FLAMfaces Oliver Mensah
“I was born in the war-torn West African country of Sierra Leone to a Sierra Leonean mother and a Ghanaian father. Living in Australia and enjoying God’s blessings, it is hard for me to remember what life was like back home…”


Beyond the brink of anorexia and back

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Here, Susan Brown of Launceston shares a snippet of her story. As a teenager, I had a number of supposedly trustworthy men and guys try to seduce me. Fear and shame cast a shadow over my life, warping my view of males and changing the way I saw myself. No longer was I a girl with many valuable qualities. Instead, at least to guys, I was ‘just a body’. Most people didn’t realise what had happened to me. Years passed. I finished school, took a gap year then started uni. All the while a storm brewed silently inside me. When I was 20, my sister suddenly got engaged. She and her fiancée were planning to marry in a few months time and settle an hour away from our home. I felt like I was losing my closest friend. My grief was overwhelming but I stuffed it down, not wanting to dampen my sister’s joy. Seeing her so happy only intensified my longing to be loved – maybe if I had someone …

Why We’re So Intrigued By Injury

Every parent knows that a Bandaid on a child is so much more than an adhesive strip to mop up blood and keep dirt out of a scrape. The power of these magical stickers should never be underestimated. What’s more, the colourful cartoon characters printed on the more expensive varieties are a novelty du force. The humble Bandaid is a gallant defender of the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ maxim that most parents cling to. Have you noticed how the fine motor skills required to tear open the packet, peel away the fiddly leaves and then smooth the apparatus across the lesion without touching the site of grief brings a beautiful distraction from the trauma of the incident itself? Wonderful invention. But the most perplexing result is observed beyond adult supervision, in the playground, with another little mate seated beside. They are peeling the Bandaid away to, “Come look!” and “Awww!” and to boast “I cut it on dad’s fishing lure!” Yep. There’s the little blubbering mess suddenly dry-eyed, ripping off the dressing to show …

An Ordinary Guy Called Merv

He rocks up each week and sets up his sandwich board in Launceston’s Brisbane Street Mall. The sign simply asks, “Need Prayer?” Perhaps you’ve seen Merv on a Thursday, standing there whatever the weather, armed with a friendly greeting and a smile. As you’ve bustled about, ticking items off your shopping list, Merv has been looking for eye contact and the opportunity to bestow blessing on someone’s day. It takes a certain amount of courage to shelve one’s inhibitions and put faith into action. I’ve always admired people with such conviction that their beliefs are more important than how they are perceived by the rest of the herd. Even if their beliefs are different to mine – who can help but acknowledge the self-sacrifice they make? People like Merv, however, aren’t about passing judgement or shoving religion down people’s throats. When I asked him why he would do such a counter-cultural thing as offering to pray for strangers in a city’s busiest shopping district, he said it was to “be a friendly face” and to …