Summer time and everyone is still asleep when suddenly a chorus of laughing kookaburras kick start the Dandenong dawn. Six year old Matik, his first morning in Australia, sits up in bed. ‘What is it?’ He leans over and wakes his slightly older brother and they lay there under the sheet, listening and wondering – how strange, how different. Then one, then both of them starts to laugh ...
Nine years later Sudanese Sunni Muslim refugee Matik Eltahir plays under-sixteens Australian football with the Renwick Raiders. Though slowed by a leg injury from his childhood, Matik is a handy forward on the team.
Coach Chas Mifsud, says of Matik, “I have never seen a keener player among any of the lads around here. Matik not only throws himself into the game, but on and off the field he has a way of holding the team together. Part of it, of course, is that he makes everyone laugh.”
Jesus praised a centurion who came to him seeking healing for his ill servant.
I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom.- Matthew 8:11
Faithful God, you bless and surprise humanity. Guide us to freedom, emancipate our goodness, and fill us with joy. We ask you this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Every path and life leads one way only,- From ‘To Hafiz of Shiraz’ by Judith Wright.
Out of continual miracle, through creation’s fable,
Over and over repeated but never yet understood,
As every word leads back to the blinding original Word.