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Living in the lucky country

“IT’S JUST like a war zone.”

That was the comment I kept hearing from people in the aftermath of the Queensland floods.

If this is the most confronting, terrifying natural disaster to happen in Queensland in our lifetime we are very lucky.

Driving through flood-ravaged Fairfield and Moggill (in Brisbane) it was hard to comprehend how high the water rose.

The mud-covered gum trees gave a glimpse of the river’s peak.

In towns in the Lockyer Valley and Central Queensland, where floods have taken the lives of people, countless livestock and destroyed farming crops, I can only imagine the devastation.

Yes, this was a horrible event.

But a war zone it is not.

There were no gun shots fired at people seeking evacuation.

Neighbours met neighbours for the first time; strangers helped clean family heirlooms; friends grieved together.

Churches became places of refuge, focal points of the communities they serve (with no sermons in sight).

By the time news of Brisbane’s floods consumed worldwide media reports, parts of Queensland had been under water for weeks.

Some towns had also been without power since just after Christmas.

Towns in almost every other state in the country were also cut off by floods.

Floods and landslides in Brazil have killed upward of 700 people (with hundreds still missing) and floods in Sri Lanka have left a million people in need of shelter, food and medical supplies.

There is no doubt that the floods of December 2010 and January 2011 will go down as some of the worst in Queensland’s history.

Last December we decided the theme for this edition would be optimism and new beginnings.

I think it is important to continue looking for new beginnings in the face of disaster and to remember that, on the whole, we really do live in the lucky county.

I also want to remind people about the Synod photographic competition.

Trawling our Facebook page at the amazing photos of these floods has reminded me of the great photographic talent in our church.

The competition aims to creatively explore the Church’s Call – Uniting in Christ: acting with love; living with hope; witnessing in faith; working for justice.

There are so many examples of people living out that Call at the moment. Let’s capture it and celebrate it!

To enter our photographic competition click here