I was at a football match in Manly and there were real tensions developing over how the rules were being ignored. There were many indigenous and non-indigenous players and spectators. As the game ended, I had to find a Maratja – middle aged Christian Aboriginal leader. I had four things written on my hand from the wrist to the fingers – two were names of younger Aboriginal women who had some tension between them, and I had to talk with this man about it. We talked very briefly and looked at a mountain or steep hill next to Manly that had to be climbed, but knew we had to go to the football field first.
When we arrived a circle of people formed with us, holding hands and making a covenant to deal with the desecration of that place that was symbollised in the tensions over the rules in the football match. We were set a date for completion of a task: We were all to work over the next year to restore respect for what that place stood for.
Before western development, there was a stream running through there. It was a special place where the Aboriginal people came and camped near the stream – camped around the area of The Corso. It was a deeply spiritual place – but not a religious or ceremonial site – a place where couples enjoyed being in the water together – naked and unashamed – almost like in a baptism - and they came together sexually to inhabit the earth – in the beauty of holiness before their Creator and His purposes for them. It was a place where men were manly in the truest sense of the word, with deep respect and true love for their wife and their Creator.
And as we came together to share and celebrate a year later, I began to hear and see the worship from the land being released.
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Bow down before Him – His glory proclaim;
With gold of obedience and incense of lowliness,
Kneel and adore Him, the Lord is His name.