The pilgrimage took on the nature of a sentimental journey today. Actually, it started the night before when Colin Buchanan took time to talk to Russell and Robert’s grandchildren live on their phones. Distance shrank and two grandfathers shed tears of joy - the ink READ MORE...
The pilgrimage took on the nature of a sentimental journey today. Actually, it started the night before when Colin Buchanan took time to talk to Russell and Robert’s grandchildren live on their phones. Distance shrank and two grandfathers shed tears of joy - the ink that writes stories of the heart.
We drove into some of Colin’s songs. We stopped outside the gate of Pera Bore on Wanaaring road, pretty much where Kurrajong Bill ‘spun headlong into glory’. Opposite the forest of gidgee trees, the original Cornerstone Community campus stands deserted and overgrown. It could have been just sad, but Paul explained that the stories of a thousand or more students from all over the world who had ventured there are still being written all over the world. A sheaf of living letters from a team of dedicated teachers, postmarked ’From Bourke with love.’ Colin was one of them.
At last night’s concert he’d sung of ‘the fall of Toorale Station’ and today we walked through the front door of its once-proud homestead. Beyond the vestiges of past glory was a larger memory of energetic faith. The pilgrims heard the story of Samuel McCaughey, the man at the centre of the largest sheep empire in the world who generously willed away a fortune to further education, medicine and Christian ministry in 20th century Australia. But who knows this? It was the wide vision of a man of faith and it matched the vast sweep of blue sky and flat plains visible from the top of nearby Mount Talowla on the road to Louth.
As Park Ranger Phil Sullivan led the group into the shadows of Gundabooka Mountain, he sharpened their eyes to see signs of his Ngemba people’s past. Shards, medicinal plants, fire pits and ochre paintings on cave walls spoke of an ancient journey with Biame the Creator. Phil overlaid these things with challenges to think carefully about our present walk together - black and white, co-custodians of the land we share. The pilgrims were experiencing deep sentiments. Phil’s direct and hearty voice summoned us - his brothers and sisters, to embrace what he called ‘God’s highest lore - the law of love.’
Paul told the group that traditional Aboriginal storytellers taught their people that if they stopped singing their songlines they ceased to exist. Similarly, Moses told the Israelites they must keep telling their children of the journey they had come or they would lose their way. And now, twenty first century Australians need to know the Christian faith story that underpins their culture. It's lying invisible beneath the surface.
The pilgrims are beginning to sharpen their eyes to see the footprints of Jesus across our country.
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.