Interviews with a Spiritual Giant...
written by Rev Gary Heard

What would you say if given opportunity to converse with one of the world’s great spiritual leaders? What would you expected to hear in response?

Student leaders from around Victoria and I heard the Dalai Lama, spiritual and political leader of the people of Tibet, and of the world’s Buddhists, speak at a schools session at the Rod Laver Arena on May 20. His life experience has been honed on the anvil of suffering, persecution, and isolation over 60 years, and nurtured by the study of spiritual masters of all traditions through history. Following a short homily, questions were received from students about issues such as lifestyle choices, refugees, and the political problems facing Tibet. His oration and his answers to questions were remarkable in their simplicity.

While I was taken aback by the apparent lack of depth, I began to reflect on what I would expect if I were to hear Jesus speak in such a setting. What would he say? “Love your neighbour…? Get your head and your heart together…? Learn to see our common humanity…? Love one another?…” In an increasingly complex world, we are easily lured into believing that the answers to our problems are necessarily complex. In reality, we are yet to adequately embody the simple challenges Jesus placed before us many years ago. Maybe the solutions are simple – though not necessarily easy. A simple principle: love one another does not always invite clear-cut answers, or indicate the easiest way.

There is a common bond and a common commitment through all the world’s major religions: a commitment to the cause of peace, to live and act in and from love. As christians we believe that God demonstrated His love to us in a unique way through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and that He has given His Spirit to help us live that love afresh today. We are called to live this way not through our strength alone, but with the strength that God gives us.

God knows we need His help.

May 26, 2002
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