Each year, Dr Phil Daughtry, the Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, writes a series of Lenten reflections which he shares with the staff of Tabor Adelaide. Phil has a PhD focussing on Karl Rahner and his spirituality of silence, and he has a particular research interest in youth spirituality. If you are interested in hearing some more of his reflections, let us know and we will post them on the blog.
Yesterday I had a conversation with a colleague about the invisible people. The context was a discussion about specialist youth programs in schools for students who are neither ‘gifted’ nor ‘challenged’, neither high-achieving nor disengaged. One of these young people, in year nine, had disclosed to my colleague a perception: ‘no-one notices when I’m not here’.
Last Friday I stood in the queue for drinks at what I call ‘the football’ (soccer to most Australians) in front of me were several adults and one young person aged about 10 or 11 years. After ten minutes or so the young person reached the counter but the adult serving looked straight over his head and asked the two mature-age women behind what they wanted. I interrupted this transaction and pointed out that the child at the counter had not yet been served. The adults apologised and one of them said ‘well-spotted’ – it was as if this person who had been standing in front of them for the last ten or fifteen minutes had suddenly and mysteriously materialise.
One of my favourite lines in scripture is the verse: ‘God calls those things that are not as if they were’ (Romans 4:17). God makes visible the invisible and dignifies values and makes much of what many of us overlook, consider unimportant and/or simply do not register.
I’m not sure how many contacts Jesus would have had if Linked-in had been available to him at the time but one does suspect that his network profile would include some unlikely choices.
For God so loved the world that he noticed us and also helps us to see those others who are shielded in plain sight from public view.
Ah, this is the grace of our Gospel, the meaning of our joyful sacrifice and the journey through Lent and into the surprise and wonder of the resurrection – that we too may see and call those things that are not and embrace the sacred life that is resonant in the ordinary, invisible and supposedly mundane.