In praise of unsung heroes

"It was the worst of times, it was the best of times" is the famous opening line of Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities". It is a phrase that comes to my mind on this six-month anniversary of Black Saturday. The worst of times... as Australia's worst ever natural disaster claimed 173 lives and traumatised thousands of others. However, this "worst of times" led to a truly remarkable outpouring of generosity and service by the Australian community... the best qualities of the Australian community (and beyond) were released in a most moving way.

This article notes the recovery process and the contribution of a wide range of church, business and community groups that rallied to help.

I would like to take a moment to sing the praises of the VCC chaplains... largely unsung in the media... who journeyed with deeply traumatised people after the fire. Many chaplains have continued to journey with those impacted by this tragedy. Each chaplain I have spoken with report something of "vicarious traumatisation"... a significant cost for those who come to care and be the presence of Christ in the face of overwhelming grief.

Thank you for bringing grace on behalf of the churches to those who needed care and a listening ear. May the healing peace of Christ be in your hearts this day.

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