Minority – the term applied to the majority of the world’s people.
I can’t remember who said this to me, but I instantly liked the thoughts behind it. Think about it.
We are all very good at marginalising people. We started doing it in school – the playground games, those who were allowed to play and those who weren’t. The excuses why were many and varied but the reason was usually that they didn’t fit in.
We continue the establish trend into adulthood and by then it’s ingrained into us – that idea of us & them, with us being right and them wrong.
Through school, Uni, work and our social lives we develop this pattern. The divisions become wider and more numerous. And, like in school, they are usually just as ridiculous.
Different clothes, different tastes in music, different political ideas, the list goes on and on and the only people who can break its cycle is us, ourselves. Only we can make a difference and change the minorities into the accepted.
Those of you who come to the Melbourne Welsh Church think how you would feel if you went to a Mosque or Synagogue for a service. You would have no clue what to do – you certainly wouldn’t fit in, you’d need someone to show you the ropes.
We are all in the minority when we look at things in different ways.
I have a friend called Columbus. Columbus is a very tall gentleman from Ghana. He is also (in his own words), “Very, very black”. I went with him to one of his family parties once. I was the only non-Ghanaian there, one white face in a gathering of over 100 people. I could have felt very uncomfortable but I was made to feel part of the group, included in the festivities, although very much in the minority I was accepted, I still look back at that day as a wonderful time.
If we look at the New Testament at the life of Jesus and the work of the early Church we see minorities valued, cherished and loved.
A young, unmarried woman from a little backwater town.
A group of smelly fishermen.
A band of followers in which women were number and counted.
Meals with prostitutes & sinners.
Work with outcasts, even tax collectors.
Healing of lepers and the family of Romans!
Talks with Samaritans.
The very first gentile convert to this new way was an Ethiopian Eunuch – can’t get much more marginalised than that. No one would want him around – except God to whom he had great worth.
It seems that in God’s eyes there are no minorities; no us and them – just us, all of us, children of God, brothers and sisters on the same journey.
As we approach Easter when we remember that Christ died and rose again for ALL – let us try and view the world with the eyes of God and see, not that which divides us, but that which makes us all the same.
In the bigger scheme of things, where you have your morning coffee in not that important…..right?
Maybe not, but sometimes you have to listen to that ‘small still voice’.
Recently as i was riding into the city for my daily loitering activities, I had my mind made up where i would go first and get a long black!!
As I neared my destination, something, I call a ‘still small voice’ suggested an alternate venue.
I listened, and went to another cafe instead, had my coffee and you guessed it nothing happened, that is until I was skulking back to the bike, when out of nowhere a pair of arms came around me from behind and I got a bear hug.
It was a bloke I had met once, at the funeral for Les, which I wrote about last year.
We hugged and chatted for a time, which was good for the heart!!
We parted company a short time later, and I now listen more carefully to the ‘small still voice’, maybe just maybe its God and maybe I should listen.
PS Please don’t tell The Ruth, she says I never listen!!!!
Loitering on the streets of Melbourne over fourteen hours during the white-night festival is a little different to the ‘normal loitering and lurking’ i undertake.
Every Monday on a prominent mall in the Melbourne CBD, a Silent Vigil happens.
The Quakers have been there at the same time for the past 15-18 years.
Not a bad effort by any standard.
I join them from time to time, as they respectfully acknowledge Australia’s First Peoples.
Anyone who is interested or curious are able to take a handout explaining why they hold this vigil.
Many years ago a student in her final year of secondary school, presented her art workpiece for the yr 12 art competition, a State wide competition.
It was at the same time as the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996
This was described as the ‘worst massacre’ in our short history, by many journalists, commentators and politicians.
This student disagreed, and depicted in her piece the massacre of many of our First Peoples in Tasmania, suggesting this was the first massacre and equally despicable.
This student was aware her piece would not qualify to win the competition, and proceeded anyway.
As I watch people. observing the vigil, and recall the students art, it reminds me that there are times when actions speak louder than words!!
Travelling around Melbourne on the train, I get to see and hear some interesting stuff.
On a recent trip, a woman boarded and a conversation started between her and a stranger.
This stranger, a male was very observant, during the conversation he asked which part of Russia she was from.
The woman was surprised at his accurate ‘guess’ and enquired as how he knew, he replied, it was the unique jewellery she was wearing.
He had purchased some for his partner and knew it came from a particular jeweller in Russia.
It made we think, what is it we ‘wear’ that identifies our residency??
Have just returned from four days away with sisters and brothers from all over Australia and some from the UK.
Bruce Cockburn, a Canadian musician a favourite of mine has a song called ‘
The Trouble with Normal, from an album of the same name.
One of the lines goes, “It’ll all go back to normal if we put our nation first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse.
Another, Person in the street shrugs — “Security comes first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse.