It was good to be part of the Living Wage campaign held at St. Peter’s Anglican church on Willis Street. I got a late call up to do the opening prayers which was a privilege. Living Wage advocates challenged the mayoral candidates and local body councillors to step up and commit to advocating for the Living Wage in local council and all places of employment. We had about eight people from St. Andrews on the Terrace there so was quite a good turn out for a cold Wednesday night.

I made contributions to a book called “Seeing Christ in others” by Geoffrey Duncan an anthology for worship, meditation, and mission. (Canterbury Press 1998) I had forgotten that I had a few contributions to the book in terms of poetry, so I thought I would share one of them with you. “The noise nothing makes”

The context of the poem was that after a busy and hectic time in ministry I finally got away to have a break in Samoa. As soon as I sat down on the plane having put my bag away I closed my eyes and became oblivious to the hustle and bustle around me of people boarding and flight attendants walking up and down the aisles. The sound was nothing.

It’s funny how my mind chooses to speak
the words of my heart
when the busyness of life stops and my ears
grow accustomed to the noises of others
whilst I sit quietly basking in the
nothingness that suddenly surrounds me.

A void filled to the brim with desires and hopes
yet to be discovered,
desires that have not yet formed into thought
word or vision.

Hopes that confront me face on
when I look into the wanting eyes of those who
see myself as
Hope Personified.

Little do they know that hope will never
cease to exist
she is everywhere

Wherever the lost souls float hopelessly
in the nothingness
Hoping, Seeking, Looking
for fulfilment.

Hope Personified is quite a big undertaking I think. People who look up to us with pride. A young man or woman finally being picked to put on the black jersey to represent their country. Parents arriving from Samoa and seeing their children go to university and get a degree. Cleaners working three jobs a day to make ends meet watching their child get admitted to the bar as a barrister and solicitor. I will travel up to Auckland on Tuesday for my nephew Ezra’s graduation on Wednesday from Auckland University of Technology with a BCIS Bachelor of Computer Information Science. He is already working full-time and earning mega bucks for a graduate, very proud of him.

Hope is all around us in the least as well as in the great. I was the first university graduate in my family in 1988, since then three more of my siblings have graduated to post graduate level and five of my nieces and nephews. My father had hoped to become a minister but he left it too late, he had absolutely no idea that this might be something I would take up. My ordination was Hope Personified for him and my mum. It was a proud day indeed and I know that we all can recall one of those proud moments in our own lives when a member of our family became Hope Personified. I like to think of it as the “Word made Flesh,” we become the embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of our parents and ancestors and for our children as well. No matter how old we become, Hope Personified never ends. Enjoy the springtime, Fei.

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