Loitering and ‘being’ opens the horizons of the mind and heart, it also challenges prejudice.
Meeting people from around our world. people with who we have much in common, others who see the world quite differently from us, all make a rich and interesting tapestry.

At a Vigil held in the city of Melbourne where I work, after a tragic incident to place, I observed a diversity not always appreciated. Mostly this is often as a result of ignorance, fear and mistrust of other.

Sitting after the vigil with a man, a complete stranger to me, we held hands we chatted about what we have in common.

He a Hindu and me a white anglo-saxon commonly known as ‘a Christian”.

Both affected by what had happened, both deeply moved by the service and both saying how at times like this we need each other.

While we do love ‘our’ country, and want it to ‘be safe’ and for some just like ‘the good ol’ days’, we are called to love.

For those of us who claim to ‘love God with all our heart, strength and mind’ sometimes forget to love neighbour as self.

I don’t expect its always easy, its not for me, so together lets strive to get it, who knows we may even look back one day and claim these were the ‘good ol’ day’!!

This too shall pass

“This too shall pass” is a phrase with a long history. Abraham Lincoln sums that history up well in a speech he gave in 1859 – Lincoln said;

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!

For some people this has been a great week. A new grandchild; a new job; a long deserved holiday; it could be a thousand different reasons.

For some people this has been an awful week. A relationship breakdown; bad news at work; an unwanted sickness; again a thousand different reasons.

Our sign this week can be read and understood by both of the above groups, it should teach us to enjoy the good times for the do not last forever and also have hope in the bad times because they, too, do not go on indefinitely.

There is a verse in Paul’s letter to the Romans which reminds me of “this too shall pass” – Paul writes “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” To me it reminds me to be in the moment with people, if they allow you to share in their lives then sit with them, be with them, show up and live the moment with them. Reading my Gospels I find that this is what Jesus did. He shared with people where they were, in what ever circumstances he found them, with a grieving centurion or a joyful healed woman. 

Over the past few weeks we have been opening the church hall on a Sunday evening to serve food and offer shelter to anyone who wants it. Those who have helped out have had the privilege to sit and eat with many people – the happy ones (like the chap who learned he had just been granted housing), the unhappy ones, the addicted ones, the lonely ones, the ones who just want to listen. We have also been heard and helped by those who have joined us, this community stuff is not just a one way street – we (the volunteers) get as much out of it as those who join us week by week.

Last night I arrived at church to find the place buzzing – people everywhere, eating, talking, joking, one even crying. There was rejoicing and weeping going on and Jesus was there sharing in all of it. I cannot thank the Melbourne Welsh Church, and the elders in particular, for allowing us the opportunity to minister like this every Sunday evening.

So wherever you are in life; with whatever is happening remember that this too shall pass – enjoy the good moments, have hope in the bad for, as in all things, this too shall pass.

Australia: What are we doing???

Australia: Where the Government will try and put a sick baby on a plane but won’t do the same for a sick Cardinal.

This blog is inspired by a twitter post I read over the week end.

I’d like to continue the re-working of Bible verse this week with a look at Matthew 25 40 & 45

40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these… you did it to me.’
45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

What would Jesus say to the idea of the government (working for the people of this country) sending a sick baby, who was born here by the way, to a detention camp? I think he would say something like, “Just as you did it to baby Asha, you did it to me.”

I don’t care what your politics are, which side of the line you sit, if you can tell me it’s right to send a sick baby to a detention camp I don’t think we’re going to agree on our views of Jesus (among other things).

For once this isn’t about Cardinal Pell or the Roman Catholic church.* This is about doing what is right – is it right for the government to try and deport a sick baby and yet not ask a sick Cardinal to come back and answer questions that he has to answer? Is it right that, in our name, the government are denying human rights to one group of people and yet defending (or at least not infringing them) in others? Are we seeing a double standard here? Foreigners are less important than Australians living overseas? Somehow Cardinals are worth more than Refugees?

Jesus never made that distinction. “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these… you did it to me.” 

I, for one, do not wish to stand before God with the deportation of baby Asha (or any of the asylum seekers) on the list of things I have done wrong – that list is long enough without adding to it. 

Australia – we are better than this! Far better. We live in the lucky country not the cruel country. Let’s tell those who have the power to make decisions that some things are just plain wrong and shouldn’t be done – not in our name.

just as you did it to one of the least of these… you did it to me!

* I have been accused of being anti-catholic and that is not true. Let me make it very clear here that I am not anti-catholic. I am anti-cover up; I don’t agree (and that’s putting it mildly) with the way some of the leaders of the Roman Catholic church seem to have covered up the systematic abuse of children in their care. If that is the case then they should have to answer for any crimes (and covering it up is every bit as bad as actually doing it in my book). I think that Cardinal Pell has a duty to answer, in person, the questions from the Royal Commission. I am not making any statement about his guilt or innocence, I don’t know anything about that – under law he is innocent until proven guilty but I think he should front up and not have the relative safety of a video link to hide behind.

If it would encourage him I point him again to Matthew 25 v. 40 and, in light of him not testifying yet, verse 45.

But like I say – this isn’t about him. He will face the Royal Commission and also a far higher judge soon enough.


Loitering one night recently I found out that one of the men i used to sit and have coffee with had died.

Today we held a memorial service for him, along with some of his mates I get hangout with from time to time.

This man died alone in a toilet cubicle, he carried all his possessions in a small backpack, which he carried every where. he was a person who said very little and who asked for nothing.

There was much about him we did not know, he had grandchildren, who he had never met, he had family who loved him. He, for what ever reason, lived a live which we may not understand

He was not popular,trendy,famous or well known, BUT he was loved and will be missed by us all, who knew him.

RIP Joffa.


A recent conversation on the street went like this.

Giday mate ( Australian greeting) what do you do for a living?
I loiter with intent, I replied, and you?

I am a mercenary in South Africa Game Parks, shooting poachers, came the reply,
I love the travel and the adrenalin rush!!

I was then offered a pouch of tobacco and papers to roll a cigarette, which I politely refused, as I prefer cigars!!

Its a bad habit anyway came the response, that and amphetamines have been my downfall exclaimed the stranger!!

We chatted for a little longer and as we parted company , it got me thinking about the strangers story.

Did it matter if it was not true? I figured it didn’t , what was important, was the fact the story was true for him, and it was important for me to listen to it, allowing the stranger to be heard.

Sometimes we are not good at hearing others stories, believing our own are more important.

I recently, heard someone exclaim that they did not understand people leaving church because they had been hurt by it, ‘no one has been hurt more by the church than me’!! they said, and I still believe in it and attend.

Responses like this stop others from telling their story, because it seems no longer important!!

If we fail to listen, we fail to care.

While the strangers story may not have been true, he was allowed to tell it and maybe just maybe its the only time someone gets to hear it.

Category : Bubba , LISTEN , respect , STORY , streets

country life

Growing up in the country it was assumed life was ‘the way it was meant to be’.
A poem to that effect was written glorifying life in ‘the sticks’ this as a response.

Clancy Williams, GPO
I had written him an e-mail, which was lacking in some detail
Sent to where I’d met him in a shop in Bendigo. 
But they said he’d left the district, and was working now in Burke St
I could reach him just by writing “Clancy Williams, GPO”.
In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone to live in that great city where the life and rhythm flow
With his fingers never dirty, taking tea breaks at 10.30,
And at night he’d go to meetings or perhaps attend a show.
He’ll be off attending concerts, or hear buskers sing in Swanston
He’d go cruising down the freeway, or read papers on the train
And there’s always friends to greet him, or new folks who’d like to meet him
And a thousand shops to choose from where the prices don’t cause pain.
I am stuck up country farming where the labour’s quite alarming
It gets harder every season but returns are staying low
I now work machinery only, for the farming life is lonely
And the dwindling local township is the only place to go.
And in place of friendly next-doors, all I hear are distant chain saws
As the hungry forest workers fell another noble tree
And on weekends local football, ends in swearing and a pub brawl
And the young blokes screech their utes up Main Street on a drunken spree
[Optional extra verse:
Now God may have his reasons
But he’s buggered up the seasons
Just can’t get a rainfall when the crops need one to grow
When the stock leave, there’s no drovers
Just worn-out truckies popping No-Doze
If the drought keeps on it won’t be just the sheep that have to go]
We’ve more accidents and injury but our health provision’s stingy
For the government makes cutbacks that the townsfolk never know
And our children are so needy, and the homestead lawn gets weedy
But the farmer has no time to talk; he has no time to mow.
And I sometimes like to fancy I could do a swap with Clancy
Join the 9 to 5 commuters where excitements never slow
While he faced the lonely backbreak of the rural people’s heartache
But I doubt he’d fit the country, Clancy Williams, GPO.
Written by Geoff Leslie, April 1999

a nobody.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what would this pictures words be??

This shot taken on a street in Melbourne, on the street are great cafes, a bakery and restaurants.
It is also home to one of the few funeral parlours in the ‘inner’ City precinct.

It has a history of funeral services for people of means, criminals, famous people and of the granddaughter of some friends.

The place was packed, I was there as a mark of respect for the grandparents. It was so packed many had to stand out in the street, which is where I stood.

I had no official part to play, no words of comfort to offer, no antidotes and I shed no tears, I just observed others grieving and ‘coming to terms’ with death and dying.

I went and purchased small packets of tissues to hand to people and to place a hand on the shoulder of strangers.

I was reminded of the line in a song, everybody gets a chance to be a nobody.

I like being a nobody.

Taking it to the streets

One of my mates from around town called the other day wanting to catch up.

He told the story, with scared face and broken nose, of his recent bashing.
He wanted me to ask the person who bashed him why?? ‘M’ felt helpless and frightened, he was shattered.
The person responsible for this was not in the usual spot, this person too has the street for his 
home and is just as vulnerable.
As we walked and talked we met up with three other of his mates, two who had also received the same treatment from the same person. 
We shared food and drink we talked together. 
It was heart breaking. 
By their own admission, they are no angels, but the sense of helplessness and despair, not so much about what they do or don’t have, rather of being respected and loved, was evident. 
One of these men I have known since 2014 we catch up regularly and this week, along with his mates we hope to celebrate ‘M’s’ 44th birthday. 
As we share food together, as we respect, care for each other and celebrate the precious live of one of God’s children, I hope this moment in time will be the start of dignity and hope restored.

‘popup church’.

POPUP is an informal get together of people, who have faith communities, but sometimes like to to discuss, vent, encourage, be encouraged and heard in a different setting.
Today three of us spent one and a half hours drinking coffee/hot chocolate and discussing matters of faith and personal stuff.
We are quite different, rather than look for differences we share what we have in common and challenge and are challenged to think and rethink what we believe and why.
It is always good to listen and be heard, and to go away knowing we love and care for each other.
One person who is a regular, has recently moved back with partner and family after a time of separation,another is a single dad coping with all the stuff of life and who hangs out with ‘dangerous’ people, then there is me, who struggles to make sense of doubt and faith.

Together we travel this road we call ‘our faith journey’, and together discover the importance of life before death!!

It’s a mixed group, crazy group, and its sinners and saints together making sense of life

Silent Vigil, Actions Speak louder Than Words!!

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!!

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