Sunday, 16 September 2012


Judas. He's a bit misunderstood really. He's misunderstood because nobody wants to know him. All I really knew about Judas was that he was a betrayer and a backstabber. So, I avoided forming any connection with this character whatsoever, lest my reputation be tainted by his. To me, Judas wasn't a bad-ass (I could quite happily be friends with a bad-ass), he was just bitchy.

All that's changed now though. My mate Murray helped me see things from Judas' perspective. I felt like we'd been introduced and I had the opportunity to know Judas as a person, not just as that guy who pissed everyone off. The more time I spent with Judas, the more I realised we're not so different from one another after all. We both have a shared brokenness and are susceptible to bitterness, but more importantly, we are both beloved children of God and that's beautiful.

Judas' Kiss - by Murray Shallard

You don't care for me, do you?
Hiding in your meetings, busy with your favourites.
Peter, James & John, they knew how to play you.

You never really liked me did you
I could tell, your eyes would just look right through me.
Wasting your time on woman, tax collectors and sinners
What sort of messiah are you?

I'll make you pay, you'll see. 
I don't need you, I don't care.

Ride your donkey into Jerusalem,
A real man would ride a stallion.
You said you could rebuild the temple in 3 days, yeah right.

You always liked the limelight, didn't you.
You had your big chance with Pilate and you choked,
You didn't even fire a shot.

Why don't you tell some more stories?
Heal someone, or for heavens sake, forgive them
Who does that? What sort of messiah are you?

Why wont you love me.
But you say, "I do.
More than all the stars in the universe I love you."

You tell me I'm good,
But we both know that's a lie. 
On the inside I am crying
But you know that too.

How come it hurts so bad, why am I so angry?
You reach out and I hold you.
On the inside I am bleeding
But you hold me anyway.
What sort of messiah are you?

Monday, 10 September 2012

Chocolate Money and Charity

A slurring old man on Courtenay Place wearing a yellow and black jacket asked me if I had any coins to spare. I lied and told him I didn’t often carry cash with me. It was a half truth; I don’t often carry cash, but I did just make a withdrawal from the ATM up the road and had a wad full of twenty dollar notes in my wallet.
It was the second time that morning that I’d been asked for money. The first time was by a young guy at the Civic Centre wearing a red and black jacket. He gave me the spiel about all the great work Red Cross do with disaster relief and asked me to sign up. I told him I thought Red Cross did do wonderful work but that I couldn’t commit to making regular donations. It was the truth; I couldn’t commit, partly because I was already making regular donations to another charity, but mostly I couldn’t commit because I didn’t want to.
The thing is; I probably could give Red Cross my money. But it would just be money, I wouldn’t be investing anything of myself into the work they do with the disadvantaged.
It’s the same with the old guy; I could have dished out some cash. But what he needs and what I need is not for me to give money, but give myself – I need to invest myself with him. I think that’s what it means to care for the poor. That is much more taxing though, and much more terrifying. It involves stopping and slowing down and spending time with people. It involves wearing someone else’s shoes, and they might feel funny on my feet. It involves taking heed to the advice of To Kill a Mocking Bird’s, Atticus Finch, and climbing into someone else’s skin and walking around a while. It involves more than money. It involves me.
Then I met Ronak for lunch and he gave me two chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. I liked spending time with him. I’d like to spend more time with him.
I’d like to spend more time with the poor too. I’d like us to eat chocolate, and to listen to each other’s tales, and to take a walk together. I’d like that. I’d like to commit to that. I’d like to invest in that.
I’d like to be generous with myself.
I know someone else who’s like that.