On October the 12th we are remembering the friends and fellow Australians, the families, the gentle Balinese and any one traumatized by the atrocity in Bali, and like it or not, the callous minded bombers. What has endeared Australians to the Balinese is their neighbourly hospitality and good nature. Many including our Prime Minister are going back to remember those lost and say thanks to those who helped in the aftermath. In thinking of neighbourly love, I'm reminded that Jesus once answered a learned man's question, "What must I do to inherit Eternal Life", with the answer, "Love your neighbour as yourself". When the man asked, "Who is my neighbour?" Jesus told one of His famous illustrative stories. You may or may not remember the story of the Good Samaritan. Basically, a man who was despised by his society was attacked by thieves on a country road and left to die. Because of his low standing in society, many just passed by and refused to help. Finally a man came and administered first aid and had the cost of the medical bills put on his account. This was Jesus' definition of a good neighbour. Two of the great maxims that we hold dear in our country 'Do to others as you would have them do to you', and 'No greater love can one have than lay down his life for another' were the words of Jesus too. However, I think the greatest statement He made which is relevant to this time of remembrance, is "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they for they will be called the sons of God". We as Australians are playing an ever-increasing role in the world as peacemakers. How good would it be to be better peacemakers in our local communities. Less time spent in the courts, less time at tribunals and conciliation sessions and more time in 'community watch'. Who is my neighbour? Maybe we should pop next door and find out, or attempt to bring help to someone who is going through a hard time. May God bless the grieving on Oct 12 with the courage and peace that He alone can give.
If you need a neighbourly ear or practical help, ring me or Valley Care Counselling Service on 0409 517273 or log on to www.focalpoint.org.au for general and counselling information.
Combined Church Leader's Co-ordinator, Counsellor and Manager of Valley Care.