July 28, 2014


I had the joy of attending "WORD - The  Front Line" on Saturday night,  WOW!!!
South Auckland Poets' Collective had brought together talented young poets from Auckland high schools to battle it out with spoken word in a poetry grand slam competition.

What a unique and powerful opportunity to hear what is really going on in young lives and hearts.  How else will we ever be in touch with this growing generation unless we hear their voices and their stories.

This was outstanding in its raw honesty, heartfelt pain and anger, and a display of youthful courage in just getting up there to speak.  I was impressed, encouraged, moved to tears, struck dumb with the power of their words.  What a privilege to be present for such an event.

It underlined what sits uppermost in my heart in this current season.  If we do not take the time to listen, to hear one another's stories, we will never know each other, neither will we understand.

In this busy world it's a big challenge to stop and listen.  It takes time we sometimes don't feel we can afford - but truly the question is can we afford not to listen and remain ignorant of what is happening in the lives around us.  Can we say we are truly living and present in our communities if we are not hearing the voices that whisper softly or shout loudly within them?

We all have this great desire to be heard, whether we manage to find the words to speak or not.
I am so incredibly grateful that there are people out there prepared to give time to help the silent and wounded find their voices and give them a platform from which to speak.  I saw this in action wonderfully and powerfully on Saturday night.

I've always loved the words of Teresa of Avila, they inspire us all to be constant in using the eyes, ears, hands and feet God gave us, to show His compassion to each one we encounter during our day.

Christ has no body, except yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours

July 09, 2014


Over the past decade I have sat in rooms, week after week, month after month, year after year, listening to women tell their stories.
At a rough count I have sat with at least 500 women, and a huge portion of that number have told stories of sexual molestation, rape, abuse, all in their childhood or early teens.
These are courageous women who are telling the truth,  They are brave mothers fighting for their children.  They have climbed over terrible odds to get to this place and find a space to tell their story and their truth.

My heart is bleeding for our nation and for it's children.

Our children are our treasure. Our children should grow up safe and secure.  Our children need to be nurtured and protected so that they grow to their full stature as adults, parents, leaders in our nation.

No one has the right to rob our treasure of their treasure.

We have an opportunity as a nation to find the courage to build into our future.  We claim ancient treasures back from overseas because they belong to this land and this people.  How much more should we be claiming responsibility for the living treasures who dwell in the midst of us.

This robbery of innocence needs to stop.

 Would we allow the thief to walk into our home and take our valued possessions away without endeavouring to recover them, would we say nothing as these things were taken away?  How much more should we protect the living treasure that is being robbed of innocence and future?

If each of us were to pick up our responsibility to guard the children and young people who are our future how much brighter and clearer our future would look.  The statistics that are like a great shadow over our nation would fall, and we would lead others in producing leaders, parents, adults who would protect what has been protected in them.

This is a challenge New Zealand.  Who will step up to the mark and begin to speak positively about our need to guard our future?  Legislation has not worked, why?  Because legislation has no heart.  It is possible that picking up our individual and national responsibility can bring monumental change if we can find the courage to do so.

Do you hear the challenge, will you pick it up? Can we grow up, stand up, and protect our future?