At the moment, it feels like there isn’t a lot of good news around, so I want to share an example from our own backyard with you! My husband works for Anglicare in homelessness. He runs two programs operating out of the CBD and Fitzroy feeding people who live on the streets. When the regulations and cautions were introduced recently, he realised he was going to have to rethink how to feed his clients in a manner that was safe for them as well as his staff. This meant a different type of food system than they were currently using. The problem with this was, due to the panic buying, very few donations of food were being made, supermarket shelves were empty and he was given restrictions on how much he could purchase at any given time. It was tricky! Then one day I ran into the Outdoor Ed staff here at Carey and I was explaining his dilemma to them. Their ears pricked up! ‘You’ve just solved our problem!’ was their response! They had a lot of food that was nearing its use-by date, and with the cancellation of our Outdoor Ed programs for the foreseeable future, the food would have gone to waste. So the next morning my husband was greeted at his foodbank with a van full of food – easily distributed safely to his clients and for another week, his problem was solved. That’s a good news story!
There are good stories around, you just have to look a little bit to find them. It seems like when you turn on the television, you just hear updates about more people being infected with the coronavirus, increasing bans on the way we live our lives, more people out of work and further crashes in the stock market. And social media is not much better! Everyone is an expert and has an opinion to share. People are angry, looking for others to blame.
In fact, I was about to delete Facebook when a friend recommended a page to me – ‘The Kindness Pandemic’ is a place where people list all the acts of kindness and joy giving they are part of in their community at the moment. I love it! It has become addictive for me to read the way people ARE looking out for others, they ARE sharing joy and hope and help during this time.
Of course, there is no greater good news story than the Easter story. Imagine what life was like for those friends of Jesus on Easter Saturday – similar to what many of us are feeling now. Despair, lack of hope, disappointment, fear, worry. They were locked in a room, unable to go out for fear of their lives. All their hopes had been shattered. All they had look forward to was gone. It was dark and gloomy. But they didn’t know then that on Sunday morning the sun would rise and The Son would rise. And that was the best good news story ever, because the fact that Jesus was alive would overcome fear and despair and worry and death itself. God had triumphed over it all. And He still does.
God is our mighty fortress, always ready to help in times of trouble.
And so, we won’t be afraid!
Let the earth tremble and the mountains tumble into the deepest sea.
Let the ocean roar and foam, and its raging waves shake the mountains.
Nations rage! Kingdoms fall!
But at the voice of God the earth itself melts.
The Lord All-Powerful is with us.
The God of Jacob is our fortress.
Janine de Paiva
Junior School Chaplain