This Week's Comment from Network 7 News 

Edition 373 August 21, 2004.  

 This weeks  was written by AWR's  International correspondent Peter JeynesThe full programme can be heard in Real Audio on our web-site.

A Postcard from Shetland Isles?

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How about this as a start for a short talk? Imagine that Im writing you a LONG postcard.

Dear Listener, having a lovely holiday but having a sleepless night in the northern island of Unst in Shetland. Its 3 in the morning and Im able to write clearly without the aid of a lamp the midsummer sky is that bright.

 What had made my holiday special? Cant say it was the warm weather. I cant suggest that it was the complete rest long walks and long cycle rides and long hills have put paid to that.

 No, this holiday, and especially Unst has been special because of the people.

 There was Loz who arrived at the hostel on his 3 wheeled bike desperate for a drink. Disaster! No sugar for him. Easy solution. He took a cup next door. Loz tried to pay. No way! He ends up with a cup of tea, beef burgers, an invite to a barbecue, the promise of help with repairing his bike oh, and a cup of sugar. Special people.

 Then there was the dialect of the people of Unst, heres a short sample from an old story I heard. ..

 Well, whats so special about the dialect? The people dont use it to exclude visitors from the island. They have kept their dialect, almost a new language, but they make sure that tourists hear it in such a way as to admire it.

 Then there are the sounds around you lots of birds, sheep and the wind. ..

 And then there is the emptiness. Not many people, not many cars, not a lot of industry just a whole lot of peace now that is special.

 Now before you think that I am getting a nice commission from the Shetland tourist board think again. Remember, it was the people who made the holiday so special. The highlight was Stuart . Just a man in the youth hostel in Uyeasound. We were talking, I mentioned that I collect sand from around the world. Stuart , the next day, walks 6 miles and collects me a sample of sand from an isolated beach. He presents the gift of sand the next evening. I didnt ask for the sand Stuart didnt expect payment for the kind deed or perhaps anything more than a thank you. But it was so special to me.

 All of the people who did me good either directly or indirectly were living out a verse from the gospel of John , By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, when you love one another

 Loving one another isnt about having kind thoughts in the heart and strong ethical values about the treatment of the poor in society.

 Loving one another may mean you offer to drive the bus to the shop and wait a while. It may mean that as a passenger on that self-same bus you put your desires after the needs of the other people on the bus.

 It may mean a 6 mile walk to fetch some sand and not expect anything in return. I could go on, but you want to ask the question, Peter , do you practice what you preach?

 Well, because you asked the question Ill answer.

 I showed love, the right sort that is, to a man who had been trying to find out where he fitted in society.

 Yes, Id made him a cup of tea, brought him back some soup from the shops and spent time listening to the man all just as a friend, no thought of reward or favour.

 The best act of love I offered him was showing him how God could come into his life. My friend was shown that all he needed to do was ask. My friend did and began to discover more of the beauties of the kingdom of heaven greater even than those of the island of Unst .

 Well, as I end this postcard Im going to wish you well. The weather looks set to change  as it often does up here. Im for moving on. See you later in my journey.

With love,

Peter

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