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Life Through the Lens: Sandbags and a baby in a manger
In his regular Christian column, Kevin Schrapel muses on the act of laying the first sandbag at Christmas time.
This post is the author’s personal opinion.
“Hey, mate – need some help?”
“Here, I’ll give yer a ‘and.”
For generations, that phrase has defined the Aussie spirit, our DNA, whether it’s fighting a bushfire, a flood or anything else which might threaten life or peace of mind.
If you dared to suggest those words offering help could be expressions of care, maybe even a unique form of love, you would probably be met with “don’t be stupid, yer mug”.
All words, thoughts and actions of care are a form of sacrificial love: a caring which leads people of all ages and walks of life to come together to build levees, and fill and lay sandbags to hold back the onslaught of water
At Christmas, many people worldwide focus on the baby born in a stable, placed in a manger as a cradle.
This baby, the son of a God of love, comes to anyone who feels the rising waters of worry, anger, hurt, worthlessness, loneliness and despair, and he says, “my friend, let me help you”.
This baby had left his position of godly privilege in heaven to be born in a cold, smelly stable, an act which was like placing the first sandbag: the start of what was needed to rebuild a broken relationship between people and a loving God, a fractured friendship that we may not even be aware of until the actions and the results trickle into our lives and overwhelm us, fears, loneliness and helplessness threatening to drown us.
The baby grew, walked the land and, with actions and words of love and compassion, demonstrated he had the power to do all needed to rebuild that broken friendship with the God of love.
Every word and every action was like laying down another sandbag that said “I will keep you safe, I will build you up; trust me and I will ensure you have the life my father has planned for you”.
Sadly, sandbags and levees along our river have failed and will fail, and lives will be adversely impacted.
But my prayer is that everyone will have a friend who will come and say, “here, I’ll give yer a ‘and”; and that, in some way, we will know and feel the love and care and promises brought by the baby in a manger, Jesus, the caring son of God.
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