These few words were written because of an experience seeing an exhibit arranged by the Asylum Seeker & Refugee support group at Roseville Uniting Church, called ‘Stairway of a Heart’. Please check the Roseville website at roseville.unitingchurch.org.au for more information.  I don’t know about you but I don’t like being stopped on the sidewalk and handed a piece of paper with a supposedly free gift or a special offer for the gym, or some kind of after shave that gives me a sneezing fit (Heaven knows, though, at the moment I could use a number of trips to the gym). I find it an intrusion into my day when stopped with a like offer. And I get quite testy if my answer of ‘no thank you’ is passed over and the intrusion continues.  I was quite sure I was walking into a similar situation just outside of the Chatswood Performing Arts Centre a couple of weeks back. It was a warm sunny Saturday afternoon and I was wandering past on my way to a lunch. I saw in front of me a pleasant looking person holding a handful of cards and I immediately looked for an escape route. Too late – there were people either side and behind me. It was like I was being carried along with the crowd with no getaway. As I approached the person I was greeted with a warm smile and a peaceful voice explaining the display and the reasons for it.  Two rows of steps were covered in white muslin from bottom to top. Placed on each step on the muslin were replicas of the human heart made from clay, some still wrapped in muslin. We were invited to choose a wrapped heart, hold it, meditate for a minute or two, and place the heart on a step. And afterwards write a message or draw a picture on the small piece of cloth that had wrapped the heart and hang the cloth on the stair railing.  Unwrapping the heart I had chosen I thought of the swaddling bands that wrapped the babe in the manger… and the heart pulsing in that very small body that grew and grew spreading the message of love, peace, and dignity for all of us. Sadly, that message, although extremely loud and strong, is not able to reach everyone – it is often stopped at the gate, as is the case with the asylum seekers who live in detention on Nauru or Manus Island.  The stairway of a heart was a poignant and tender way of showing respect and support for people who are placed on the other side of the gate.  Sometimes I am extremely happy when my plans are changed… …are you?  This was one of those times.  Blessings… Brian
Brian ringing the Peace Bell at Hiroshima
From Brian’s desk  
Mosman Uniting Church
Serving Mosman since 1877
From Brian’s desk  
These few words were written because of an experience seeing an exhibit arranged by the Asylum Seeker & Refugee support group at Roseville Uniting Church, called ‘Stairway of a Heart’. Please check the Roseville website at roseville.unitingchurch.org.au for more information.  I don’t know about you but I don’t like being stopped on the sidewalk and handed a piece of paper with a supposedly free gift or a special offer for the gym, or some kind of after shave that gives me a sneezing fit (Heaven knows, though, at the moment I could use a number of trips to the gym). I find it an intrusion into my day when stopped with a like offer. And I get quite testy if my answer of ‘no thank you’ is passed over and the intrusion continues.  I was quite sure I was walking into a similar situation just outside of the Chatswood Performing Arts Centre a couple of weeks back. It was a warm sunny Saturday afternoon and I was wandering past on my way to a lunch. I saw in front of me a pleasant looking person holding a handful of cards and I immediately looked for an escape route. Too late – there were people either side and behind me. It was like I was being carried along with the crowd with no getaway. As I approached the person I was greeted with a warm smile and a peaceful voice explaining the display and the reasons for it.  Two rows of steps were covered in white muslin from bottom to top. Placed on each step on the muslin were replicas of the human heart made from clay, some still wrapped in muslin. We were invited to choose a wrapped heart, hold it, meditate for a minute or two, and place the heart on a step. And afterwards write a message or draw a picture on the small piece of cloth that had wrapped the heart and hang the cloth on the stair railing.  Unwrapping the heart I had chosen I thought of the swaddling bands that wrapped the babe in the manger… and the heart pulsing in that very small body that grew and grew spreading the message of love, peace, and dignity for all of us. Sadly, that message, although extremely loud and strong, is not able to reach everyone – it is often stopped at the gate, as is the case with the asylum seekers who live in detention on Nauru or Manus Island.  The stairway of a heart was a poignant and tender way of showing respect and support for people who are placed on the other side of the gate.  Sometimes I am extremely happy when my plans are changed… …are you?  This was one of those times.  Blessings… Brian
Mosman Uniting Church
Serving Mosman since 1877