Risks and Rewards

I think at this moment, no one in Australia feels safe and immune to the risk of natural disasters.

Today we remember the second anniversary of Black Saturday. 2 years hence there is now a deluge in Victoria. Gippsland out in the east are flooded, as were parts of north and north-western Victoria. In and around Melbourne, storm floods raced through homes and businesses from Friday night and remain threatening.

Watching the television panel in the gym this morning, people out in parts of Western Australia are suffering from terrible bushfires. Apparently more than 20 homes were gutted by fast moving fires within a couple of hours and many had less than 30 minutes to leave their home.

All these came at the back of massive floods in Queensland as well as cyclone ‘Yasi’, which we are still smarting from and for which many are still trying to get their heads around the massive clean-up required.

On Saturday morning Kiddo joined Tress and I for our usual coffee. After that we trekked out to Croydon to pick up a couple of books Kiddo needed for school and for which we have placed orders at another city bookstore for a couple of months without any results. The books were on Keats and Euripides – very weird that she’s doing Literature and Philosophy for her VCE.

On the way back we stopped by Gerry and Jesslyn’s to check on their mail. While there Jason called to say the function hall in church has been flooded. The bucketing down of massively heavy rain on Friday night has hit home, sort of.

We drove to church right away from Gerry and Jesslyn’s and were very grateful to find a few ladies had worked very hard to clean up all the mess. Apart from some tidying up work left to do, the place actually looked clean – spick and speck even. I opened up the store room and cleared some furniture out to reach at the tall ladder with the idea of getting onto the roof to check on any safety issues – there was going to be a biggish church lunch in that hall the next day. Jason arrived shortly after and the both of us took the ladder out and he went up the roof, which was a flat metal one. He walked around, found nothing wrong but we decided to move stuff to another hall anyway, as the forecast was that more rains were expected for later in the day. The ceiling looked soaked and appeared to be sagging so we thought there was a chance it may cave in – out came the tarps and it was just fingers crossed after that.

After all that we went for lunch, shopped for stuff for church lunch the next day as well as a dinner on Sunday night and went home to cook. Tress started on the Sunday lunch and I prepared the ribs we picked up for Sunday dinner. I did some vacuuming after that and when everything was done it was just before 5pm and we decided to watch movies at home for the rest of the day/night. Angie Jolie’s ‘Salt’ was a fun ride and after that we continued with something sentimental and re-watched Marley and Me. Or Tress and I did. It was a lovely movie and although we had watched it before, it still tugged heavily on Tress’ heartstrings to release wells of tears. We were especially affectionate with the little black jedi master – aka Scruffi – after that. There’s just something about a pooch which changes one’s life.

At church it was feeling a little bit like winter again – the morning started on 11 deg and coming off a week which has been muggy and uncomfortable, it felt cold and I had to grab a robe 2 minutes after settling down to watch the Wolves and United game at about 5 in the morning. The shorts and singlet I had slept comfortably in were suddenly and totally inadequate for an early morning game on tele. Everyone was decked out in woollies and jackets. We also found out that Pastor had been sick as he had to get onto his roof to clear out stuck gutters which were causing waters to gush in onto the ceilings of their newly renovated home.

The storms didn’t spare the church or the pastor. I wonder what subscribers of weird theology like Danny Nalliah would think of that. He was probably not interested in the fact that as a result of being “victims” of the storms, members’ hard-work and the coming together to prepare the people of God for worship and service, were extracted and stoked – even I could see that wasn’t all bad.

We may feel less safe in Australia now but we’d always have the cleft in the rock which God designed and kept Moses safe while He walked past. It is the act of helping each other and encouraging each other to seek God and His shelter which is the fun bit and I think we saw massive doses of that this past weekend.