In the October issue of the Tasmanian Anglican, which is now available online, I share some stories from my Prayer Pilgrimage around Tasmania.
In Just another log, I speak of the special gift I received of a piece of prose entitled Fiddleback, and three pieces of wood:
I started out on a wood heap. Really, just like any other firewood log. Nothing very special, just a bit of local ‘ironbark.’ It was only when split that my tortured years were revealed and the slow and stunted growth that caused my grain to be so contorted was first seen in the light of day.
It’s peculiar sometimes things of such unsightliness are missed for their true potential. With some care, all those hard years can be transformed into a thing of beauty, when planed, sanded, stained and polished. But even then, the hard years can still be seen.
You have to look intently and at just the right angle, and then you can see the highs and lows, they are quite plain, just beneath the surface, a reflection of the past. It’s a sort of parallel to a human life being transformed by the gracious hand of God. What was and now is.
It’s a bit like ahealthychurch…transforminglife.
In The centre of Tasmania, Latitude 42.1, I share how David Morrison, Chris Sadler and I spent 15-20 minutes praying on a very cold day with beanies and jackets around a stone monument in the middle of nowhere. David led in reading the verses from Isaiah 42:1-12. The Lord burdened me to pray that Tasmania, shaped like a heart, would beat with the heartbeat of Christ.
In The shepherd’s crook, the lantern and a purple chicken, I speak of the symbol of my ministry as Bishop, the shepherd’s crook, which reflects my role to shepherd God’s people and my responsibility to live and teach the message of Jesus Christ, the light, who has come into the world. The second symbol I took was a light. As I lit the candle and placed it in the lantern it reminded me that Jesus said ‘I am the light of the world.’
The pilgrimage was also a time of ongoing learning as I learnt about chickenfeed, the purple chicken card and of course the purple chicken.
Read these stories and more in the ‘Tasmanian Anglican’ October 2010 magazine here.