By Rosie Schefe
What does it really mean to love your neighbour, when the world is intent on building walls to separate you?
12.30pm, Monday, 30 September, 2013: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. I walk past the camera operator who has been projecting Bishop Munib Younan’s image onto screens high above the 1000-strong audience at the Australian Conference on Lutheran Education (ACLE).
‘So what did you think of that?’ I ask, acknowledging his role during the keynote address. ‘That was amazing! I only wish we were recording it. When that guy wins the Nobel Peace Prize we’ll all be sorry that wasn’t on tape!’ the operator says, going on to describe how rare it was for him to become so engaged by a conference speaker.
It is a reaction that typifies much of my experience over six days of following Bishop Younan from Adelaide to Brisbane. The people he meets are captivated, not just by this small, unassuming man with the wide smile and subtle sense of humour, but, more importantly, by the powerful message of peace, reconciliation and love which he brings.