ECS Wellbeing: Bishop Martin’s Awareness Practice- Week 4


Have you ever been present at someone being unjustly treated? Where were you? How did you behave? Did you simply stay silent? Did you voice your feelings? Just use your imagination to relive the moment.


Recently, a large number of Post Office workers experienced being wrongly accused of fraud; some were sent to prison! Late though it may be, that injustice has been noticed. Imagine yourself being present when they were arrested. Just notice your inner reactions.


In a great novel by Shusaku Endo: ‘Silence’  – a priest in 17th century Japan is forced to stamp all over a picture of Christ’s face in a show trial. He then experiences Christ accepting his betrayal!  The moments of lack of courage are as vitally important to revisit as moments of courage. Don’t judge; just be aware

Georges Rouault  [1871 – 1958] was a French artist. In this painting: ‘Jesus before Pontius Pilate’, there’s hardly any detail. For me, I’m invited to participate fully with my imagination in the scene; to become either Christ or Pilate or both. [You can remind yourself of the scene in St Mark Chapter 15.] What do you think the significance may be of the colours used for Pilate and Christ? For me, the empty faces are far from being blank. So many faces you could superimpose. Injustice, of course, removes the unique characteristics of human personality. Hold in your ‘hands’, without blame but with compassion, those you are aware of now who are experiencing injustice, either through force of circumstances or intentionally.


In our school, there are little moments that occur from time to time, where someone experiences being treated unjustly. The staff, in my experience, uphold a high standard of awareness when this happens. Sometimes it’s tempting to join in unjust treatment, in order to ‘stay in’ with a group. However, by noticing and being aware of it, you can by doing so resist such temptation and shine as a light for behaviour that is life-giving and forgiving. The Light of Christ.


Bishop Martin Shaw

ECS School Chaplain

12 May 2021
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