As I write this there is a political storm happening on social media about the current Australian fire crisis. As I scrolled on social media all I seem to see is a bunch of unresearched, off the cuff comments that are only adding metaphorical fuel to the fire and creating more damage than good.
I do understand that whether you are from the political left or right that we are entitled to have an opinion and generally this is guided by a heart passion, values and what we identify with.
This may be that you have a deep heart burning desire for the environment and so the grief inflicted by the current crisis is immense. You may be swayed in a direction that is triggered the fact that the climate change debate seems to create a wave of fear rather than hope.
Whatever the case the foundation of all of us whether you believe in Jesus or not is that we all made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis Chapter 1 verse 26) and this means that we are all driven by love and a desire for community, relationship and justice.
So given the country is under distress from the current fire crisis, which as I write is raging, it seems that rain is the only answer in seeing the relief that so many are praying for.
What I do know is that the country will be feeling the effects of this natural disaster for some time. It’s at this point we need to respond in a way that is not divisive for us as people and rather to look at the light that has shone in the midst of darkness and how we truly have embraced our image and likeness from God in the midst of such adversity.
While I have seen the divisive posts, what has given me great hope are the stories of heroism, care, compassion and comfort that have popped in the midst of all the arguments.
Bunch of Australians
We have a bunch of Australians currently literally laying down their lives for the sake of their neighbour, work colleague, family and even their enemies for the sake of the greater good and to preserve life.
Ultimately, this is the main purpose of these amazing men and women. To preserve and to save lives. We can always rebuild and regain things, but life, well there is only one shot at it.
I am reminded of the famous verse “that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends” and isn’t this exactly what we are seeing in the midst of this disaster? In my opinion it's these stories of courage, heroism, love and strength that are going to see the country be revived after these fires pass, cos they will.
It's these people that we need to recognise and to honour in the aftermath of this disaster. The theme of honour is the one I want to see after the crisis. Honour those on the frontline, those in the control centres coming up with strategies, even the politicians that ultimately are giving up their lives to see our country become great, balanced and a privileged place to call our home.
This is my hope, but I feel that all I will see is the culture of dishonour to run rampant and many will be fixed on their own unfounded opinions based on popular posts, rather than genuine research. I really hope this does not bring another person who is elected by us to their demise because they have been a scapegoat for all of our opinions, rather than facts.
Shouldn’t our response especially as Christians be to pray for our leaders as 1 Timothy Chapter 2 verse 2 doesn’t just give us the option to do, but commands us to? This is whether or not we agree with the policies. May our prayers be filled with love and to press into the father and to allow God to move the hearts and minds of those in these positions. I know that I still believe that God is sovereign over all, not the people that have been appointed into leadership positions.
So this is a defining moment for our country and creating more vitriol and arguments for argument’s sake is not the answer. If you are so passionate about these issues maybe we should dig a little deeper than the FB wall feed and actually get alongside the many that literally are rebuilding their lives and probably being thankful that they are in a country where support is available from the kindness of many Australians and those in leadership of our country.
For this is where we see God in the midst of the fire and this is what is going to see both the lives and places flourish again in the future.
Justin Monaghan (Adelaide) is married to his beautiful wife and together they pursue being his Kingdom agents through their intentional Jesus community house in Glenelg. Justin is also a prophetic artist under the label JR Faith Creations as well is pursuing a career in the entertainment industry with his new studies in VFX and digital illustration at university. He is a lover of surfing and anything adventurous.