Recently I came across the story of Sam Bloom from Sydney and a small injured Magpie her family named Penguin. After an accident in Thailand in 2013 where Sam fell six metres, she was left paralysed from the waist down. Like so many others who experience a catastrophic injury, Sam became deeply distressed about what the future held. But her road to recovery was helped by family, friends and an injured bird called Penguin.
Sam’s son Noah found and rescued this baby chick after it had been blown out of its nest. Sam talks about her recovery being a mix of sadness and anger and how looking after this little bird helped her regain a sense of purpose and happiness in her life. Part of my upcoming holiday reading will be Sam’s book, Heartache and Birdsong, and I am looking forward to the 2021 release of a feature movie starring Naomi Watts Penguin Bloom that tells more of this family’s journey from despair to hope.
Sam repeatedly speaks about the importance of friendship in getting her through the difficult times. This is particularly important for everyone as we work our way through lockdown. Sam’s words, which can be listened to in this week’s Middle School chapel reflection, served as reminder of the five types of friends Jesus had and suggested that we all need in our own lives – someone who is older, someone who is younger, someone with a different home culture, someone with a different worldview, and someone you interact with almost daily.
Given that this is my last article for the term I would like to extend a note of thanks to the 2020 Middle School Captains, Greta Wansbrough and Spencer Thomas, for all their contributions this term to the weekly chapel. I would also like to thank the 2020 Middle School Student Representative Council for their ongoing support, especially Co-Chairs Ginny Rudd and Lily Wheeler, as well as Emma Coleman, Jamie Shepherd, Sienna Shepard and Eric Wang. Thanks also to staff and parents for your support and encouragement in what has been a challenging time for us all.
May the following prayer help guide our decision making in the coming days as some prepare for a change to their own routines and less time looking at computer screens.
Let us pray. Loving God please continue to be with the Bloom family and all those experiencing life altering injuries. Keep us all safe over the holidays and help us to continue to be a friend to those in need. Amen.
Middle School Chaplain