Light in the darkness.

Hello dear readers, the world feels like a lot at the moment doesn't it?  

There is a global pandemic, a war being waged on Ukraine and record-breaking flooding in parts of QLD and NSW. It feels like the world is in a seismic shift. Global warming, pandemics, war....These are not the things of my childhood, but they are of my children. 

We can feel powerless to help, the 24hr news cycle all-consuming. But there are things people can do, even from afar. 

They include sending money to humanitarian aid organisations helping with the Ukraine refugees, Red Cross is always a good one. Or you could donate to one of the many organisations helping flood victims get back on their feet.  

We can live our lives well. To act with honesty and kindness to those around us. We can make a conscious effort to raise our children with kindness and love in their hearts. We can teach them of their privilege, and the responsibility which comes with that. We can teach them not to partake in unkindness or bullying, and to stand up for people being bullied. We can teach them acceptance and inclusivity of diversity. We can point out the beauty in our differences, rather than teaching our children to fear them. 

Mathew 22:36-40 (NIV)
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

What does this mean to the average person? It means that love is a verb. It is action. 

We have many neighbours in our valley, most people are incredibly lovely, and some have become deeply valued friends. But there are some with whom there has been conflict about how we are managing our land. Primarily the sustainable and selective logging we undertook on our property a year or so ago. We differ vastley from these people in many ways, but we do share common ground. However, I expect the feeling of preferring to avoid each other is mutual. The other day my son told me their child has covid. As such, they are required to isolate on their property for a week. Those who have been following a while will know we live relatively isolated with difficult farm tracks to negotiate. Heavy rain has washed out our creek crossings, which has been an ongoing problem after last years floods. 

So what does loving people look like when you don't particuarly get along? For us it means first praying for their health and full healing from covid. It means alerting them to the farm track being damaged due to flood water and telling them of our hopes to fix it ASAP, weather permitting. It means offering to pick up groceries for them and dropping them off in a covid safe manner if they need them.

And to do it without expectation of reciprocation or that it will change their opinion of us.

We do it because, despite our differences, we believe they are God's precious and beloved children. And that is enough. 

We humans have far more in common with eachother then our differences would have us believe. Our differences seperate us, they allow anger and resentment to brew. However, when we focus on our similarities the light can shine through. 

We see this in the helpers that always appear during a disaster. The aid organisations helping in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, nations standing together to condem this senseless invasion and war. We see the goodness in the mud army that arrived once again after the devestating floods to help with the massive clean up. We see this in a neighbour who sends a meal over when a new baby is born, or when illness strikes. We see it when a friend comes and helps fold washing because mothering small people has become overwhelming. We see it in offers of help and support, weather it be practical or the lend of an ear to simply listen. 

These are the actions of love, they are the light in the darkness. And they are done every day by people just like you and me. 

Much love, 
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