Like the sand irritant in a pearl shell, reconciliation between First and Second Peoples continues to demand attention. And like the pearl shell, it has potential to produce something small, beautiful and precious.
We’ve got a cheek, we Australian Christians, thinking that we have anything to offer the reconciliation process in Australia! After all, some missions and churches colluded with governments and colonialists in oppressing Aboriginal people. Many too, preserved language and culture and produced communities of respect. That cannot be denied.
Now, with a new millennium well under way, the conversation around reconciliation is gathering pace.
How will First Peoples be recognized in our Constitution? Should there be a Treaty? And what’s all this got to do with closing the gap anyway? And what have Christians, whether First Peoples or later arrivals, got to contribute to this conversation? Where is Jesus in all this?
TEAR Australia is sure that we ought to be there because we know about pearl shells. We know that from difficult, gritty, unyielding things, can often come pearls of great price.