Friday, November 27, 2009


The story of Australian idol winner Stan Walker (he's a Kiwi) is an inspiring one. His family background in a self-described "Once Were Warriors" setting with an (also) self-described "Jake the Muss" father is sobering. His account of suffering sexual abuse at the hands of an extended family member is heart-breaking. Stan describes how this influenced his behaviour as a teenager in sexual and criminal activity looking to prove his manhood (puts the nature of the abuse in context).

And yet, one-by-one this family find a new focus for life - Jesus Christ. The turnaround is extreme. The image of his "hard man"father worshipping with his family was for me a profound symbol of hope as I watched the doco on TV last night.

I had an experience yesterday which I found difficult. I had lunch with a friend in a pub in Manukau. It started off great as they had the Cricket playing so we were able to watch some of it. But as we sat there we noticed a steady procession of people heading through a door into a darkened room. The pokie machines. It was 1pm in the afternoon and there were more people in there than there were in the rest of the eating area. As soon as we finished we left - it was actually just too difficult watching this play out and beyond that thinking how our lunch patronage was supporting this activity. I found it hard to connect hope to these people.

Its playing on my mind.

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