I heard recently that the pain of rejection or of not feeling we belong can have a greater impact on us than experiencing physical pain. At least with physical pain, it will generally subside and hopefully pass. Of course, this does not always happen, because we all know people who live with physical pain every day – but I understand the sentiment.
Belonging to a community is essential for our sense of wellbeing. On the first staff day of this term, a parent and former student shared with the staff the blessing of being a member of the Carey community. She explained that as she faced various challenges in her life, the support and encouragement she had received from within our community had made a profound impact upon her and her family. I would hope that many within our Carey community could say something similar. For when strip all our activities back, we realise that one of the most precious things in life is our relationships.
The willingness to express compassion to someone when they are going through a difficult or sad time is a gift we can offer. May we never underestimate the power of compassion to bring hope and encouragement.
In one of St Paul’s letters in the New Testament he writes of a community, ‘When one rejoices we all rejoice, and when one grieves we all grieve’, which sums up a caring community. Over my time here there has been times when we as a community have grieved and there have been times when we have rejoiced. Both grief and joy are a part of life. How much better to share such times with others in community.
May God bless you all in your various communities. May they be places of care, compassion and hope.
Rev. Gerry Riviere
Senior School Chaplain