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'Mail' Newspaper Articles


Focal Point 
For publishing 9/10/01

Twenty four days ago we were all thrown into a situation that we didn't invite. Suddenly we were sharing in world grief and we started to experience our global village family as never before. I want to talk about our responses. Firstly, I guess for most of us there was disbelief, then fear. What now? What next? Who next, then anger. All of these emotional reactions are normal at a time of great loss. This first batch of emotions came quickly, automatically and involuntarily. I often use the analogy of a people in a boat; disaster hits, they are thrown out and each has to find their way to the shore. The way they swim, the debris they use to get there, and the tides and currents they use, either help or hinder them on that swim for the shore. Difficulties sometimes arise in community disasters when we are so focused on our own survival that we are unable to support others on the way. However community spirit has been the winner in this disaster. Communities all over the world have come together in a way that we have never seen before, even the Arabs and the Israelis are working hard on a peace agreement. May-be they've grabbed the same piece of driftwood. In our own community we have seen a coming together. For example, seventy five notes of best wishes, prayer and condolence, which were collected from our local stores, were put together with photos and posted off in book form to the people of New York. We have also seen a turning to God that we have not seen for a long time. In the aftermath of the disaster the Mayor rang me to ask what the Churches were doing by way of response, as she had been asked by constituents to do something. Let's hold on to what we have discovered in this crisis, the value of community. The Christian Bible says that the wise person who discovers a pearl of great price, goes out and buys the whole pearl farm. That is what the awakening is like when we discover these 'Kingdom of God' values in our community. One thing I have learnt, is that when my world seems to be spinning out of control, God is my 'Still Point'. A Church leader from New York said, 'It was only when the building burnt down that we discovered the 'Real Church'. Let us continue to experience the deep realities of community caring rising from the ashes.

GRAEME DAWSON 0409 517273


Focal Point Yarra Valley 2009