Dear Adam Goodes,
We met briefly a few years ago and you graciously allowed me to take a photo of yourself with my two young boys. They were only aged 7 and 6 at the time, but they remember the occasion still.
Like many other Australians, I would like to see you participating on Grand Final day at the MCG. As a footballer, you have achieved success at a level that very few players will ever reach, and for that reason alone it is fitting for you to be recognised on that day.
Whether you decide to participate or not, I will not judge you. I believe it is too easy for non Aboriginal people (like myself) to arrive at conclusions as to how Indigenous Australians should or should not think and feel about their roles in Australia today.
I am sorry that you have been treated with such disdain on account of your race. I am offended for you. It must surely concern Australians that issues of race persist in 2015. While many prejudices and stereotypes have been taken away, it is clear that we have not yet arrived at where we need to be.
As a Christian I accept the Bible’s picture of what heaven will be like, and as part of its canvass the Bible describes how the nations will be present. The word that is used for nations has less to do with geo-political boundaries and is more about people groups. Race is not diminished, and no race is exalted over another, but on account on Jesus Christ peoples from every language and tribe are welcomed and received. While I am confident of where history will end, it is right to pursue this heavenly vision in our present time. To this end, we need to hear the stories of Aboriginal people, to learn, and for Australians to repent of past and present sins against the First Australians.
I wish to extend my congratulations to you on a great football career, and should you decide to take part on Grand Final day, I would hope that you receive a worthy applause.