Columns
Residents' Association Image

Residents' Association

Southbank comes together
Read more >>

Business in Southbank Image

Business in Southbank

Melbourne Square goes digital
Read more >>

St Johns Southgate Image

St Johns Southgate

Livin’ la vida lockdown
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

Performance-based alternative solutions the key to cheaper cladding replacement costs
Read more >>

Montague Community Alliance Image

Montague Community Alliance

Is Montague the Toorak of Fishermans Bend?
Read more >>

Chinese

零工经济的灰色区域
Read more >>

Metro Tunnel

Third tunnel boring machine launched
Read more >>

Federal Politics Image

Federal Politics

Why Magnitsky Act is important for Australia
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Microorganism dismantles Airbnb - will it ever recover?
Read more >>

Southbanker Image

Southbanker

Putting in to get something back
Read more >>

Port Places

Fishermans Bend: the first quarter 2019
Read more >>

Housing Image

Housing

We are leaving an intergenerational time bomb for our children
Read more >>

History Image

History

Shrine of Remembrance
Read more >>

Safety and Security

Vale our fallen heroes
Read more >>

Yarra River Business Association Image

Yarra River Business Association

Throwing support behind our new winter festival
Read more >>

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Southbank Sustainability Group

When we know better, we do better. It’s time we do better.
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

What our loneliness can teach us in times of social distancing
Read more >>

Skypad Living Image

Skypad Living

Vertical villages - an owners’ corporation manager’s view
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Fletcher and Kelly
Read more >>

Southbank Fashion Image

Southbank Fashion

Spring racing in Southbank
Read more >>

Street Smarts Image

Street Smarts

Power Street – Southbank
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

Boulevard of broken dreams
Read more >>

St Johns Southgate

08 Apr 2020

I know that you are scared

A couple of months ago, before one thing and another changed all of our lives, my six-year-old son, Theodore, was excitedly preparing to attend a friend’s birthday party.

As you do, we had Theodore make a card for his little friend, and predictably, as he embarked on that arty and crafty adventure, his three-year-old sister insisted she wanted to join in – the result being that she also was making a card, but for a child she’d never even met! When it came time to write the message, we asked the younger child, Genevieve, what she’d like to say in the card to child X. Without skipping a beat, she said, “Dear X, I know that you are scared. From Genevieve.” Naturally, for a dark humoured bunch, a chorus of laughs went around the table, with Genevieve even joining in. But it got me thinking, why can’t we greet people in such a fashion?

We’re all sick of hearing people say it, but we are living through extraordinary times. And so, we’re all anxious in our own ways, or grieving the loss – if not of a loved one – of our former ways of living and being. So, perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea to cut to the chase with our family members, friends and neighbours. Instead of asking the, “How are you going?” question – which is invariably responded to with, “Yeah, fine” – perhaps one could start a conversation with something not dissimilar to, “I know that you are scared.”

In the 12th chapter of Luke’s gospel we read the words of Jesus stating that, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” I take this not just as an ushering towards honesty before God, but also as an encouragement to openness in our relationships. If you’re feeling miserable, why not say so? If you’ve got a cough and are terrified it might be COVID-19, why not share that fear with someone? If cabin fever is setting in and the kids are driving you up the wall (could this be self-disclosure?), why not say so on the video chat with the other parents rather than painting a falsely flattering picture? Dropping our defences, conceding our concerns, acknowledging our anxieties to the socially distant listening ear, might just hasten the healing of our emotional turmoil.

The words of Jesus that follow directly on from his sayings on concealment and disclosure are these: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.” Here Jesus puts it all into context for us. Our internal lives – our fears and griefs – meet the external reality of mortal strife. As usual, Jesus really hits the truth button. He is saying to us, I know that you are scared, and no, your fears aren’t neurotic, this is life and death. But even if COVID-19 takes your body, or the body of someone you love, it cannot take the soul – it cannot take away my eternal promise that “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live.” •

Tom Hoffmann

Pastor - St John's Southgate

Stay in touch with Southbank. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Southbank Local News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.