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Two hands form a heart shape outdoors, with the sun in the centre of the heart and greenery seen in the background

by Chaplain Ross

A long time Jungian Analyst told me recently that the most disturbing passage in the Bible for him are the words, “Lord, when was it that we saw
you … hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, in prison.” (Matthew 25.37).

Why he found this disturbing was not based on how people meet each other, but rather how we as individuals respond to the person’s need when we meet them. For example, if we meet someone who is thirsty, do we offer them a drink? When meeting a stranger, do we offer them a smile and show them kindness? Irrespective of the circumstances around how we meet someone, as Christians, kindness and compassion should be our response.

It is widely known that there is a problem in Perth with the number of people experiencing homelessness. Here at St Bart’s, we’re not simply having a discussion about why there is homelessness in Perth. We are responding to a need to support these people and make a difference in their lives.

I recently met with a St Bart’s resident who is struggling with deep trauma in their life. They expressed their deep heartfelt appreciation for the organisation, for without the support of St Bart’s over the years they said they would not be here today.

The wonderful collective of St Bart’s encompasses not only the frontline staff this resident had met and appreciated, but all the structures that enable its employees to deliver their amazing care. It is the Board and corporate staff, service managers, corporate and community sponsors, supporters and volunteers. Together, we are truly making a difference as we see the person who is in need and we respond with compassion.

As we come to this joyous Christmas time of peace and acceptance, friendship and family, we celebrate the contribution that St Bart’s and our wonderful community of supporters make in bringing peace and acceptance into people’s lives.

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