He came out slowly, out of the old concrete duplex, barefoot and limping slightly, eyes fixed on the parcels of food placed two metres away from his front door.
And as I left, looking back at his small frame still standing in the same spot, he looked over at me and simply said “thank you”, tears flooding his tired eyes.
“And again, thank you,” he whispered as I drove out of the driveway, his family coming to see what had happened.
When I looked back in the rear view all I could see was, in these uncertain times, a new sense of certainty, hope and gratitude.
In times such as these, changing times, often all we really have is each other and the God we serve or whatever it is that gives you security.
Because change is happening, and it is as if the earth is resetting itself for a time and a life after this season is finally over.
It is as if the earth has taken a breath from our mistreatment of it, the oceans’ deep have breathed again, and the trees and all creation have paused from their groaning, a groaning caused by our lack of tiaki, our lack of love for our planet, by using the earth’s resources as a cash register to plunder and spoil.
Sometimes in life, something must die, so that something good, something sustainable, something meaningful, can grow again in its place.
Sometimes it’s a relationship that has come to an end, a career, a season in a place, a school or even a season in our lives, ending so something new can begin.
That from death, life can come. That is why we celebrate Easter, and as we see sectors of industry in our own country and around the world close and come to an end, we know that new life will grow, will resurrect in its place.
When something dies, we grieve, and we feel that loss deeply, because we often we invested so much of ourselves into it, it was a part of us and now it has gone.
And it takes time to allow that grief to subside, but as we do, life comes from what is now gone – be it a new business venture, a new relationship or just a new perspective.
It is equipping us for the chapter ahead and the tools we needed and hadn’t yet realised we needed, on the way.
And in all that change there is such a strength we can derive from being like that Papa, by being grateful.
I have seen so much of it in the past two weeks as people have done what’s needed to provide food and shelter, and I spoke with someone just this morning so so grateful, in tears for the government’s support to them while they are stuck in transit in New Zealand.
Gratitude is a strength that can get us through almost anything, because when we lose sight of what we can be grateful for, we lose joy, we lose hope and in the end, we lose love, because love cannot live where gratitude and joy have left the room.
In this season, values and virtues are the measure of what is good and what we should be working to build – not bank accounts.
That we can work together for a common good, that we can love our environment and care for it, that we can let go of any industry that cost us more than we were benefiting.
That we can finally reset our country as one that is sustainable on all levels and where the wellbeing of its people is measured not just by economics, but more by connection.
This is the opportunity in front of us. And what a time to be alive! To be able to contribute and to mould a new way of doing things, grabbing some of our old skills, and new ways of thinking from what has died, and from where now new life begins.
Happy Easter to you all.