Love Makes a Way
March 28, 2022
By Abi Bannon – Working for Justice Panel Member
Love Makes A Way (LMAW) has taken action in many forms over the years: nonviolent sit-ins, prayer vigils, letter writing and, particularly recently, singing.
Over the last year and a half, much of this singing has taken place outside Park ‘Hotel’, where refugees and people seeking asylum were detained by the Australian Government. Our Melbourne-based Love Makes A Way group decided to start singing there as a way of showing solidarity with those locked up there, around Australia and offshore.
Alongside others who come (some daily) to show support in various ways, we gather to sing “songs of freedom and beauty to remind them they are not forgotten” (Phil Hudson, Zadok Perspectives 2022). While we sang, we waved at those who stood in the windows – often just silhouettes behind the tinting designed to hide them from the world. We were just metres away from each other, divided by a single wall and yet so much more: the incomprehensible denial of their freedom.
Like many others, detained at similar facilities, these innocent people had been locked up for 9+ years. In this time, they have been shown cruelty that many of us cannot imagine, and still have no idea if or when they will ever be free.
Music for us has become a form of protest and connection. Through it we express love and care, sit in shared grief and anguish, and sometimes bring lightness and fun as a reprieve. It is a way of connecting with people whom our government wishes us to ignore, fear and forget about – whom God calls us to welcome and love.
As our incredible LMAW Melbourne co-facilitator and music leader, Phil Hudson, recently wrote:
“Any doubt that God wants us to be part of creating a more compassionate story is swept away by the clear biblical imperative to care for ‘the stranger’… we are called not only to help bring dignity and freedom to the oppressed but also to let them into our hearts.” (Zadok Perspectives 2022).
Refugees and people seeking asylum continue to fight for their freedom. We must stand with them in their struggle, help their voices be heard, and be guided by our faith to call for a just and compassionate government.
We will continue to pray and sing for freedom, for an end to suffering, and for a country that fully welcomes all people.
If you would like to learn more about Australia’s treatment of people seeking asylum, or are interested in getting involved in the call for freedom, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Melbourne group at firstname.lastname@example.org