During the first two-three years of being in charge of the Aboriginal Children’s Home in Oodnadatta, South Australia, Ruth Bulpitt had a tough time.
Because Ruth worked amongst the Aboriginal people, the white folk of the town wouldn’t have anything to do with her. ‘What’s the use of looking after the niggers?’ they’d say.
Here is an extract from her biography, A Very fortunate Life. “I’d go down to the Australian Inland Mission and introductions to different white people who visited would happen. There were no barriers; we were all friendly. Everyone talked to me while I was at the hostel but once out on the street; it was another matter. I would walk along the street doing the shopping and say; ‘Hello,’ to this one or that one who I met at the Mission and they would have nothing to do with me. They would cross the street to avoid me, wouldn’t even answer me. Being shunned was the way of life as House Mother to a group of Aboriginal children without parents or Home or anyone to care for them. Until the Education Department agreed that the children could attend the Primary School.
Later, when the children from the camps were allowed to participate at the public school. Some of them, I remember, used to come to me to see if they were adequately dressed and acceptable to go to school. They would bathe and change clothes at the Home before going to school; then, after school, they would return to the Home, change clothes and return to camp leaving their school clothes at the Home until tomorrow. This arrangement worked very well.
Sometimes a child would be missing because he or she had to go bush with the parents. But it did mean that camp children were able to get quite a decent education.
There was no antagonism between the black and white children once they went to the school together.
This anecdote is a picture of God and the way of the world. God is shunned; people walk on the other side of the road to avoid him. The people he created, whom he loved extravagantly and desired that no barrier would exist despise him and do their best to ignore him. The ultimate purpose of Jesus was to break down the walls and reconcile us to God in a close, personal, intimate relationship.
Thought for the Day: Sin was the barrier that stood between mankind and God. Jesus tore that barrier down by taking our sin on himself.