The one thing that I love about SURRENDER Truth Lab is the gift of hearing voices from many different and unique strands of life. It’s like in this really intense two hours we become witnesses, keepers, weavers of threads that are made up of all the colours of the rainbow. Some threads dazzle in our eyes catching our attention, and others seep slightly less noticed into the tapestry of stories. But for me that’s the awesome gift of Truth Labs, and of SURRENDER, that there are threads for everyone to take and weave into their own tapestry.
One thread that caught my attention was Brooke Prentis’s Sorry Day Reflection. As Brooke’s voice eloquently tumbled through the speakers I found myself sitting a little straighter and the thoughts of my day fell silent, as she shared stories of the stolen generations, the survivors of past and present government policies that allow the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. To hear the pain of our past, present - and if things don’t change - our future continuing to hold great injustices and mistreatment, my brothers and sisters, is confronting to the core. I deeply appreciated Brooke’s call for us to stand in solidarity, raising our voices loud and clear against the injustices and to take seriously the radical call of Jesus to love each other. Brooke finished her reflection stating “…we are survivors, but how much stronger and less lonely that survival will be with our non-Aboriginal brothers and sisters standing beside us as we lift each other up against the injustices that make us fall.”
With Brooke’s reflection still ringing in my ears, Paul Sparks then started weaving another thread by sharing some of his stories about community. I feel that his message resonated with me partly because he is a fellow Catholic Worker, so in some ways we are cut and grown and challenged by the same tapestry! But also his message became a reflection of a practical response to the heartache we see. He challenged us with a call to risk relationship, and not risk it for outcomes but to risk it purely as God’s plan for us in trying to relate faithfully to one another, to God, and to the land.
I left with wonderful, both new and challenging, threads to take and weave into the story of my own tapestry. I was thankful once again for the gift of the story-threads we can collect at events like this. It’s those threads, the threads that become each persons new tapestry, that intertwine as we create an even larger more beautiful tapestry, as stunning as a rainbow, as we become more than just individuals but we become brothers and sisters, family, community, as we stand and journey alongside each other precasting radical love and inclusivity. This is truly the gift of SURRENDER.