I sit oustide tonight in the peaceful backyard of my temporary housing. I look up to the sky. I don’t see the stars, but thank God I don’t see fire and smoke. No bombs are being dropped in my neighbourhood. I am a fortunate human being. I am thankful and yet stirred!
I hear the rattle of trains pulling into the nearby station, some traffic from the street and laughter from people gathering in a unit a few doors down. The ordinary sounds of life. No sounds of fighter jets or air raid sirens. No sounds of a woman and her children screaming as they run from violence or a person taunted on the streets, simply because of their ethnicity. No multiple voices confusing my mind, made worse by the stigma many living with mental health deal with every day. No sound of intensive care machinery keeping a person with Covid alive. Just ordinary, suburban sounds, which I so often take for granted, but for which tonight I am truly thankful.
I came home from a run this afternoon, through some lovely parks and gorgeous tree-lined streets, and Iooked at the old rugged steps on the house I call home this week. I am thankful for a roof over my head that I always take for granted – my house, a hotel room, my work house where I am staying this week. I am thankful for my beautiful, strong, resilent wife caring for my kids at home in isolation. I am thankful that Arli has a nurse for a mum as he recovers from Covid.
I am thankful for where I sit tonight. Quiet, peaceful, having just finished a late-night meal. I could be in a Kyiv subway bomb shelter, a long way away. Or I could be in Melbourne’s Park Hotel, not that far away at all but where asylum seekers remain locked away – young men who have spent as much as a decade in detention. I could be an older woman sleeping in a car, trying to find somewhere safe. More than 100,000 Australians have no place to call home tonight. I could be a kid, like my boy with Covid, but in a place far away with no RATs, no vaccinations and no 24-7 medical care at my disposal.
I look to the sky and I have so many reasons to be thankful.
I listen to the sounds around me and I have so many reasons to be thankful. Even the dog that just started barking!
I look to the front steps of the house I am living in and I have so many reasons to be thankful.
And yet God please stir me up, don’t allow me to become too comfortable, remind me of where I could be tonight …. and in some small way, today, tomorrow and the next, may I do something useful, something small, something that that brings shalom to another person in this beautiful, but broken world.