All posts tagged: war

Those War-Bruised People Who Will Soon be our Neighbours

If Tony Abbott knocked on my door last Wednesday, I would have kissed him, ushered him in, poured him a glass of our best wine. A day earlier, the reception might have been different. I don’t envy your job, Mr Abbott. What a tense couple of weeks it’s been for you and your cabinet, but as one Australian voter with a deep concern for vulnerable people – even those beyond our shores – I want to say thank you for listening. As you know, less than a week ago the Australian government announced it would welcome 12,000 extra permanent refugees from the Syria conflict, with a particular focus on women, children and families from persecuted minority groups. Australia will also pay for the direct accommodation of 240,000 refugees seeking asylum in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Watching the news footage of women pushing prams along railway tracks, of fathers crying into the necks of their children, of cities leaning like ashen boxes in rubble gardens, we have wept. Their blood has run down our faces as tears. …

God Doesn’t Wear Camouflage

ANZAC Day is arguably the most spiritual day of the year. For many Australians, listening to a bugle call during a dawn service will be their most spiritual experience. The dew underfoot. The huddle of community. The warming rum. The dark. And the long unwavering notes of The Last Post that peal into the reverent air. We stand there in the throng and remember the savagery of war, the sacrifice for our freedom and the scars our country bears, acknowledged on the breasts of generation after generation. It’s a church service for war, sacrifice and tragedy. What I love are the stories that surface of men and women of faith who served our country. As they served, God served their needs – in the trenches, on hospital stretchers, in their darkest hours. This year The Bible Society has released a book and website that tells profound true stories of service men and women who relied on God through the grisly bits. They all died – some during and some after the respective battles. Most were …

This Story is Designed to Burst Your Bubble

How’s your bubble today? Isn’t it lovely and shiny in here, brightly coloured and comfortable. Marvellous to float like this with all the things we hold dear bundled within the orb of our existence.  Wonderful to navigate this bubble beyond the prickly outside where some have no such skin of protection. Such a lovely bubble – see I’ll show you – I’ll shine a bit of its rainbow light on your face. Not too much now, or you might want it for yourself. I’ll just sit on a cushion, stick my fingers in my ears, squeeze my eyes shut, take a nap and wake up when all the nastiness out there is over. Life in a bubble sure is swell. Wait… do people really live like this? If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through the horrific genocide being played out on our television screens, news feeds, newspapers and whatever other way we gather information – it’s that “yes!” people really do live like this. Bubble people are happy to ignore the greater reality and they …