16 August 2018
It was the way she looked at us with pity - from New Zealand, the Tri Nations had only just been on that Saturday night . We responded graciously. With fixed smiles we explained that it was good that the Wallabies had won, after all who were we to play if we kept on winning all the time?
She relaxed, communication with us was possible after all.
There were many things we could have talked about and shared common ground in the news of the day. The horrors in Tripoli and where is Gadafi? The terrible house fire in Brisbane,that killed so many people from two families, the destructive storms in USA, but we are conditioned to talk about sport, to take sides, rather than to find common ground, even in light conversation.
While we often are jokingly in opposition I do wonder if it helps people to really get on? Maybe we should be more aware of one another's needs and be affirming when we are able?
A kind or affirming word to a stranger can make a difference to them that we might not ever know about.
In a letter to a church thousands of years ago Paul wrote to urge them to speak with kindness and care to each other in their daily lives as a mark of those who followed Christ..
The other day I was sitting in the super market carpark waiting and noticed that over in the next series of parks a young, very pregnant woman was sitting on the ground with a very frustrated young man beside her. I could tell he was frustrated by the fact he seemed to have a limited and very repetitive vocabulary of which every second word most unimaginatively began with F*** .
She had locked the keys in her car, the groceries were all around her and she didn't want him to damage the car. Then across the car park, a ute, covered in dust and full of builders' materials, drew up. The old guy driving it heard the conversation and slowly ambled over and then quietly asked if he could help. The young guy calmed down and they discussed possibilities. A heavy instrument was produced and the back window light expertly broken, the door opened and they drove off. It was fascinating seeing that older man act. He saw the situation and calmed it down with quiet words and practical help, there may well have been other ways of solving it, but he mediated without interference and the grateful look of the young woman said it all. Ordinary stuff! Yes! But it made a difference that day.
The Christian community should be one where by just being ourselves we make a difference. The salt that gives taste, the yeast that makes the bread rise, the sharers of words which give life to each other and those around us.
Rev. Margaret Anne Low
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