In one of the New Testament letters written to Christians throughout the then Roman Empire, in James 1:2, the following suggestion is made: ‘Friends, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy.’ Writing to an audience of people facing all sorts of trials and challenges, James encouraged readers to think about how they can change their attitude and approach to their issues.
In our own times, someone who has put this into practise is Queensland artist Dr Farvardin Daliri.
During the lockdown period, Dr Daliri recorded the sounds of wild kookaburras, and created an 8.5 metre long, 4.5 metre high giant kookaburra in his front yard. This handmade singing Kookaburra, which took five months to build, has entertained locals during its creation and a wider audience once it went on the road. The giant kookaburra is connected to a motor that moves it as the recordings of kookaburras play. It has certainly encouraged people to have a good laugh, and unexpectedly, wild kookaburras have also been dropping by to check our this new relative. Dr Daliri was born in Iran and studied fine art and sculpture in the 1970s and came to Australia as a refugee in 1984. When interviewed about this creation for the Townsville Cultural Festival he said he made the kookaburra to have the ‘last laugh’ over COVID–19.
In this new term, can I encourage each of us to make the most of our time so that we too can have the ‘last laugh’ over COVID–19. While it might not be to create a large model of an Australian animal, there are lots of things many of us have learnt during our last lockdown which we can carry over into this new setting. Within my own family there has been videos made and shared online to family and friends, hand-made creations such as a suit of armour made from cardboard, and hand written notes sent in the post. Each in their own way remind us of the importance of connection and choosing attitudes that reach out to others regardless of whatever form trials in our lives take.
Please continue to pray for those affected by COVID–19. The prolonged isolation and confinement of millions at the significant epicentres of this outbreak will be a difficult experience. May the following prayer help guide your thoughts for those in hospital and other medical settings and for those working hard to identify a potential vaccine.
Let us pray. Lord Jesus Christ, healer and friend, come and care for all of us through the danger and uncertainty of the coronavirus epidemic. To people who are sick, bring healing. To people who are displaced, isolated, or cut off from family, friends or work, bring comfort and companionship. Work with medical staff as they care for the sick, and protect them from harm. Give skill and fruitful research to scientists as they search for treatments, prevention and a cure. To public health authorities, give wisdom to decide the best ways to manage
both this crisis and our anxieties. When communities are fearful, give a calm spirit, and kindness to neighbours and strangers. Through this testing time, and through all the risks we face together, teach us once again how we can love one another as you have loved us. Help us to follow the example of your son in all our interactions with those in need. Amen.
(source: Revd Dr Philip Freier)
Finally, if I can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to email me.
Middle School Chaplain
Feature image: Dr Farvardin Daliri's kookaburra. Source: ABC News