Monday, March 28, 2005

Happy Easter

I hope that everyone enjoyed Easter. I very much enjoyed having some time off and also having DSD visit from Singapore.

After learning more about Chinese New Year this year, I had a new appreciation for Easter. Unlike Christmas, which is all in the anticipation, Easter stretches over a longer period of time. I love how the different days hold different meanings and facilitate different kinds of reflection.

I pondered all this yesterday as I sat in church before the service. I deliberately arrived early to reflect and thank God for everything that the day meant to me. I prayed for my family and I prayed the unlikely group of people who have become important to me. I also prayed for a friend in Rome (not the pope, though I might have if I'd remembered).

The service started with 'Up from the grave he arose' and I smiled, knowing that my family would be singing the same song in Sydney. As it turns out, they sang it at the dawn service which would have been almost at the same time. Unlike them, however, our congregation was singing simultaneously in English, Cantonese and Korean.

Easter is a four day holiday in Hong Kong but I'd chosen to work Friday and Monday mornings. I did this partly out of concern for our clients but also because I am concious of keeping a very good relationship with the company that donates food on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

When I arrived at work this morning I regretted making the effort. A disappointed client had defaced the 'Easter opening hours' sign on the front door to write something nasty about me. It was the result of my recent efforts to increase communication among groups assisting asylum seekers so that help is more evenly distributed.

Lately I have thought back often to the time that I worked in an NGO that sent shipments of aid goods from Hong Kong. We always used to tell ourselves that 'behind the scenes' charity work was a thankless task. Unlike the person on the frontline we didn't get to recieve the smiles and grateful thanks of the people we were helping.

That wasn't quite the whole picture!


pip said...

Hey Joe-
Sorry to read about the nasty sign. (I think you're tops!!)
I enjoyed being involved in the different 'moods' of Easter this year too. Even just following the readings through the week by myself it was cool to know that I'm connected with people across the world who are journeying the same rythms.
May you be strengthened by the good news of His resurrection. Pip

joe said...

Thanks Pippo. And thanks to my nan too who sent me an email today about her Easter. It is cool to know that family and friends (and people you don't know!) are connected in the same celebration.

Terry Finley said...

Nice blog. Thank you.

I really like this pope.

Come by and visit me.

Terry Finley