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As I travel around this vast diocese of the NT I come across so many cultures and peoples.

I am trying to learn some phrases in various languages of each area and nation.

I find myself needing to work on not saying a perfectly correct greeting, but in the wrong place!

I am recognising different customs and different ethnic groups.

I am also bonding with many people, growing in feelings of warmth for them.

I have had cause to reflect on the phrase that I came across so many years ago from the book ‘Reaching Out ‘ by Henri Nouwen .

‘What is most intimate, most personal, is most Universal’.

In the core of who we are we share a common humanity. We share much about what really matters.

We all desire to be loved, valued respected, listened to.

We all want to know that we matter.

I am learning so much!  I also know that I need to learn so much more.

The more that we are challenged to think outside of our normal comfort zone, the more we give a chance for the Holy Spirit to ‘shake the dust‘ that makes us short-sighted in our vision of life and the church’s mission.

What a gift it is for us all when we recognise the need not to settle for a mediocre comfortable life, and to be challenged to open our hearts to the infinite mystery of life.

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