New Edition: Call of the Wattlebird, now available on Kindle.

Easter— the time we Christians remember and celebrate with gratitude the death and resurrection of Jesus. Why does it matter? Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we can have confidence, we too will rise. From the moment we believe, we receive Eternal Life, and we are changed. Our response on encountering the risen Christ is to become others focused, no longer fixed on self-centred objectives. We discover our reason for living, and each person expresses their purpose differently, but all are equally enriched by serving others.

In the following excerpt from Call of the Wattlebird, the main character discusses her purpose with her grandmother.

The master of ceremonies stood and gave honour to the charitable citizens of Northern Tasmania. He awarded Grandma Kate a plaque for her untiring service to the poor in Perth and its surrounds. Her acceptance speech, a spirited homily, encouraged the guests to be thankful for all of God’s blessings, challenging them to extend grace to the disadvantaged ordinary folk.

‘Need I remind you of Jon Bradford’s adage—There but for the grace of God, go I,’ she concluded.

‘Bravo!’ Catherine expressed her appreciation rather loudly, causing the soldiers to snort.

Aunt Rowena squeezed Catherine’s hand, but other guests glared, their looks condemning. Catherine steamed with embarrassment. If only she could slide under her chair.

Still smarting when she returned to Adele’s, she exploded, ‘How dare they, they’re so pompous! They don’t care about the poor, they were just there for appearances.’

‘There’s a certain social etiquette, dear Catherine, and one of those conventions is to show restraint when applauding. You will learn, the more often you are invited to mix with the privileged.’

Florence’s chiding did nothing to cool Catherine’s temper. Her fingers twitched, she wanted to slap her cousin but instead retreated to the safety of the front veranda. Grandma, who had come to Adele’s to look over her new home, followed Catherine outside and sat alongside for a few minutes, remaining silent.

‘Grandma, why do I feel as though I don’t belong to the privileged class?’

‘Perhaps you are not of their ilk, dear Catherine, just as I am not. Though my mother reformed, she never forgot her woeful past and endeavoured to care for the factory women.’

Catherine raised her brows—so it was true, her great-grandmother was a convict.

‘Jesus is our great example. Even though he was equal with God, he lived on earth as a common man, healing the sick and providing for the hungry. He showed us how to treat others with great compassion, and for all his good works, he was tried and condemned as a criminal.’

Catherine considered her grandmother’s treatise.

‘Catherine, I had a few minutes visiting Grandpa Philip’s grave this morning at the Cypress Street cemetery. While there, I prayed for all my children and grandchildren, that they might come to understand how much God loves them and has a grand purpose for each one of them.’

‘Well, I know my purpose. I’m going to ask the Lord to help me take care of the poor, just like you do Grandma, and I’ve not forgotten your advice to realize contentment is found in a mission that inspires you.’

Victoria Carnell ©