Chaplain’s Corner – Junior School

Over the past week I have had the enormous pleasure of spending time with the staff and students visiting us from Robinson River in the Northern Territory. For the past few years I have travelled with a group of our Year 6 and Year 9 students to visit this community that has such a special place in our collective Carey heart. It has been wonderful to repay the hospitality they showed to us earlier this year by welcoming them to our city and our school. We have been on excursions to the MCG, Eureka Tower, Melbourne Zoo, a cake factory, our Bulleen Sports Complex, and they have spent a day at our Carey Junior School Donvale campus. Our extra special excursions have included a session at Bounce and attending the Richmond Football Club training session where we were treated like royalty and posed for many selfies with Richmond players. We held a very special assembly last Friday to welcome them officially where the students played a didgeridoo for us and then presented it to us to keep here as a memento of our time together.

But for me, one of the long-lasting emotions I will take away from these days is delight in the relationships being formed. It has been great to witness reunions for students and staff who have visited Robinson River this year and previous years. I have watched as even the students who have not been to Robinson River have cheerfully greeted our guests like old friends. I have pondered how barriers have been broken down and bonds formed over kicking a football on the oval. I have marvelled at the depth of trust that has been shown by many this week. It always brings tears to my eyes when these children recall acts of kindness that have been shown to them – little gestures that may not have meant much to the giver, but mean so much to the receiver.

The ability to form relationships with other humans is one of the most rewarding parts of our life’s journey. The people we enfold in our hearts, who bring us joy and win our trust can come from the most unexpected places. But the most important bonds are those we can share with God. God is always right beside us, in the joys and in the lows of life. The Bible tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our heads. If we can’t lose a single split end without Him knowing, imagine how much He feels for every one of our tears that fall?

That’s what is so wonderful about God. We can tell Him anything. We can be ourselves with Him. We can open up to Him and fully trust Him when we feel we cannot trust anyone else. We can be real with Him because His love for us is real. He carries all our burdens, even our private ones.

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5

Janine de Paiva
Junior School Chaplain