I have loved all of the concerts I have attended in Vector Arena here in Auckland. To think that any loved ones would attend a concert there and confront danger even risk their lives is unthinkable.
To further imagine someone is planning well ahead to make a bomb to kill as many as possible and also themselves in the bargain is beyond my understanding.
Yet, like you, I have to try and understand it and denounce it and work for a society and way of life where this manner of thinking and living cannot come to our shores and in fact may it die everywhere because of the weight of good and power of courage in the world.
Today, many young mothers and their small children came to our Centre to enjoy music and friendship. This afternoon there are older primary school children enjoying the life and fun of Kids Cub. Other parents and children sit in a relaxed manner waiting for their music lessons or simply chat or read. The door is open and there are no guards or security people.
The Small Miracles pre-school children celebrated with a pajama party. There is something magical about laughter and play that totally trusts its environment. Safety and security have a totally different sound to fear and distrust.
Like you, I will pray for every parent, child, young person, law officer, medical person and community leader caught up in the planned mass murder at Manchester Arena.
My Muslim friends abhor what has happened as much as I do or as any Christian does or any other follower of peace for that matter. But what I want to hear is some word of denouncement from one of the world leaders of Islam. Have they some words to say of its shame and the insanity of the hatred and extremism. I know that the world leaders of Christianity would have to speak out if any mention of Jesus or Christianity had inspired such misguided, hateful and insane actions, it would be expected from all sources of the Christian faith. Is it fear and recrimination or is it lack of unity that is the reason for the silence from our world leaders of Islam? Is it too hard to choose a spokesperson?
This is what I ask myself again and again as I try and commit to being more active in living peace and understanding. How fortunate am I to live here. I may well have a different opinion of everything if I was born on the other side of the planet and in a different society. Yet I believe a common understanding of peace and the acceptance of another is possible.