Inner Circle


Thursday, 30 April 2015

Dear Inner Circle,

Walking in our front door and heading in for choir practice, a young woman struck up a conversation with a homeless person. It was an interesting, easy flowing exchange that ended when the man said, “I’m not really homeless, I’m just outdoorsy”.

At the door this morning a young fellow stopped me to announce that he had a new girlfriend. “I’m happy for you” I said. He told me that his secret was that he’d told the young woman that he was me! He said she was chuffed to be keeping company with Rev Graham Long, Pastor and CEO of The Wayside Chapel. “Gosh” I said, “So you’re not planning for this to be a long term relationship then?” This poor young bloke is very unwell and didn’t understand how I could foresee a problem. “Well” I said, “She might find out you’re lying to her and I doubt that she’ll take it well, or, she might meet me and see that you’re impersonating a poor old burnt-out has been.” I went on to ask the fellow why he wasn’t happy or content to be himself and claim to be only himself when meeting a young woman. Unfortunately the man is unwell and he slipped into gobbledygook.

Last night the building was buzzing with a large AA group meeting, hand massage and nails going on with the Twilight Team and the Honeybees choir filling the building with their beautiful sounds. The special thing about last night for me is that my dear daughter is a Twilight volunteer and she was doing some of the hand massaging and nail painting. I’m so proud of her I could burst. When I walked out of the building the Honeybees were singing with full blown angelic power, “Hallelujah”. Perfect!

I’m staying light this week to balance the heaviness and often intemperate commentary that’s everywhere in the air today. My word to the sad is that there are times when the only gift possible for humanity is to carry a heavy heart. Your hope for a dignified and fair world has been offended. In times of such grief its common to strike out with angry words and quick judgements. We need to not shield ourselves from the full sadness that comes from the haunting thought of bullets ripping through the flesh of those executed yesterday but we also need to know that our grief is just that, grief. It is not the time for us to find new ways of offending Indonesia. Let the grief blow us where it will but let the healing begin soon. Indonesia’s position on the death penalty will not move while we are waving our fingers and beating our chests. Both countries are sickened by the work of drug pushers and both countries could work together to form policies and practices that are humane and constructive. Australia is not superior; we’re not even more humane. If there was a referendum calling for the death penalty for peadophiles in this country, I promise you it would be successful. There is a dark side in both our countries and it requires people of good will in both countries to look for the best in the other and work for the best of both.

A lovely man is sitting in our cafe just now who said to me, “There’s a lovely freedom of speech vibe down here. As long as everyone believes the same thing”.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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Be sure to follow Graham on Twitter if you have an account; @waysidepastor

Previous Inner Circles


23 April: Priceless gifts, freely given

16 April: Good news from the Wayside is great news

9 April: Awesome

2 April: Easter by the Wayside

26 March: Thankful for little things

19 March: A few minutes in the cross

12 March: Seeing what isn't there

5 March : A tour like no other

26 February: Tough love

19 February: Puffing or building

12 February: The two shall become two

5 February: Chest pains

29 January: Shear joy

22 January 2015: Fully alive

15 January 2015: Blessed interruptions

8 January 2015: A glimpse of glory


18 December 2014: Christmas hat in hand

11 December 2014: A little season of goodwill

4 December 2014: There was nothing silent about that night

27 November 2014: It's not about feeling better

20 November 2014: Gathering Moss

13 November 2014: Love the land, love the people

6 November 2014: The power of presence

30 October 2014: Paralysed by presence

23 October 2014: The joy of sight

16 October 2014: The best medicine

9 October 2014: Who would have guessed?

2 October 2014: There's no such thing as a terrorist

21 August: Saving souls

14 August: Squeaking out

7 August: A time for turning

31 July: You're okay

24 July: Happy tears

17 July: Let's aim higher

10 July: Gristle and good

3 July: The joy of not knowing

26 June: If not now, when? If not me, who?

12 June: Longing for riches

5 June: When you least expect it

22 May: Finding home

15 May: Flying

8 May: Tests, triumps and tissues

1 May: Skuse the French

24 April: Lifting the curtain

17 April: Collective love

10 April: Cardiac arrest

3 April: Awe struck

27 March: You're invited to something special

20 March: Rather a prohet than a loss

13 March: It's all happening at the wayside

6 March: Love makes all the difference

27 February: What goes around

20 February: The joy of being empty handed

13 February: Loving the growth spurts

6 February: Mighty glad to be back by the wayside

23 January: Some criminals have class

16 January: Wonderful surprises

9 January: Ready, set


19 December: Thanks for an awesome year

12 December: Mission and wishin'

5 December: The ups and downs and all is well

28 November: Kissed by the community

21 November: Our cup runneth over

14 November: A revelation from wayside

7 November: When excrement happens

31 October: I am therefore I think

24 October: We are surrounded by heroes

17 October: When you least suspect

26 September: A wayside wobbly

19 September: Knowing a gift

12 September: Advancing at the retreat

5 September: A little dose of good

29 August: Fighting with a feather

22 August: The boom is just beginning

15 August: True riches

8 August: Small is beautiful

1 August: Sensitive people miss all the best views

25 July: A whole lot going on at wayside

18 July: Kings Cross a place of courage

27 June: Holy ground

20 June: You cannot take what can only be given



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