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For the next 3 days or so I am a Growing Families Australian National Conference on the NSW coast. The theme of the conference is “Families of Fire”. When I arrived I had no idea where this theme would take us but I am so excited about the heart of the committee that has organised this conference and their vision for this time.
The conference started with a short drama performed by a family. The opening scenes presented a family who had masks on with big red smiled painted on their face. The mother spoke to us about her determination to do everything right, to have it all together and to work hard at her parenting. The father had a big smile plastered on his face showing the world everything was a-okay. Then the children started to misbehave – they didn’t want their smiley faces on any more – they didn’t want to do what the parents wanted to do. So the parents decided to carry the children through to what was right. The father piled all the kids onto his back and tried to make the kids go with him. He fell in a heap. As they sat in a dejected pile, feeling like failures one of the little girls noticed the cross and walked towards the cross, fell at the cross and then invited her family to see the cross. They all responded and worshiped Jesus and their happiness, their joy was internal, they no longer needed the painted masks, they no longer needed the black cloaks that they were dressed in. They were free to dance together as a family.
What a beautiful picture. The symbolism was so strong. We try to do it on our own, we become determined to do it right and yet we fall in a heap. We need Jesus. It was a beautiful opening, a focus that captured the hearts of the whole auditorium.