It was a raucous bush poetry night at the North Bourke pub on the banks of the Darling. ‘This one’s for you Roey’, Mal shouted... READ MORE
It was a raucous bush poetry night at the North Bourke pub on the banks of the Darling. ‘This one’s for you Roey’, Mal shouted into the microphone. We’d done quite a few Poets Treks together, sung country songs and told yarns as we followed the steps of Henry Lawson North to the border, so we shared a love of the West. He was a cocky from the back of Engonnia who vigorously delivered all sorts of verse, from sentimental poems to bawdy ballads, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
To my surprise, what came out was the story of Jesus’ birth - bush style. As I recall, shearers loaned Joe and Mary their rough quarters and an Aboriginal woman helped to deliver the baby. Drovers came in from the back paddock with a far fetched yarn about a sky full of angels and a trio of Afghan cameleers dropped by with some presents. It worked and the previously rowdy crowd listened thoughtfully.
My friend gave me a special gift that night. His genuineness touched me - he did it out of respect. At the same time, he reminded a group of ordinary Aussies out for a good night under the stars of the Southern sky of a story we haven’t quite been able to forget. Jesus has left indelible footprints across Australia.
I've begun an adventure this year as The Outback Historian bent on tracking those footprints. I'm thankful to have had a good team that's launched the stories far and wide on all sorts of media. Likewise I’m grateful for the wider support I've received. My plan is to open the eyes of modern Australia to the faith-stories lying neglected all around us. This challenging year has provoked people to think more about what really matters. Perhaps the best gifts we can give this Christmas are stories that offer hope.
Thank you for your continued support.
May the hope, peace, joy and love that came through Jesus be strong in your family this Christmas.
I look forward to continuing our journey together in 2021.
Join The Outback Historian, Paul Roe, on an unforgettable journey into Australia's Past as he follows the footprints of the Master Storyteller and uncovers unknown treasures of the nation.