Inner Circle

 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Dear Inner Circle,


A country boy landed here in Kings Cross a couple of months ago. He’s built like he could pick up a sheep in one hand and put it into his pocket. A disastrous experimentation with drugs caused him to leave everyone he knows and shelter in the anonymity of Kings Cross. He used to sit at our front pathetically trying to prevent himself from falling to the ground under the influence of drugs. He said to Una, our Senior Community Worker, one day, “I’m not the no hoper you think I am. I’m better than this”. Una replied, “Don’t tell me about it, show me!” Today I had a conversation with the same man. He’s drug-free, clear-faced, bright-eyed and truly present with us. He’s working hard at the gym to bring his strength back. It’s a joy to stand with him and behold the transformation. If we can find him a job soon, there’ll be no looking back.

The same fellow came to church last Sunday and we asked him to read the scripture for the day. He agreed to do it but was clearly nervous about taking a public role. I saw him several times in the morning reading in whisper the passage he was to present. Another beautiful bloke, who himself has overcome a heroin addiction to lead an inspiring life, wanted to encourage the big country boy. “Just imagine we’re all naked,” he said. The reply was, “Bro, you’re not helping.”

Yesterday I sat with a woman who was giving me a bit of an organ recital, telling me about all of her medical problems. Finally she told me just how grim is her future. I looked into her face and just knew she was telling the truth. We held hands without talking for a few seconds. Eventually I said, “I think dying is an act of love.” She looked puzzled but was right with me. “When you fell in love with your partner, did you have any idea where it would take you? At the beginning of that journey, all you knew was that you were going toward your destiny with your whole being. Because it was an act of your whole being, it felt passive; there was nothing partial about it. It’s why we use the expression, “falling’ in love. It is a moment of choosing and being chosen at once. It’s the same with death, you have no idea where it will take you but you know you’re going towards your destiny.” “Will you help me?” she asked. “Yes, honey,” I said, “I’ll be right beside you.”

One member of our inner circle wrote last week to tell me that he’s sending a $1,500 donation. He said that he could have sent more but he’s used the money he’s saved by not drinking alcohol to pay off his debts. He’s been alcohol free for 310 days and not drunk 443 bottles of scotch, 12,847 standard drinks. That is $19,035 not spent on alcohol. It is 4,324,566 kilojoules not consumed. This dear man said, “Everything is better without alcohol. Every facet of life; job, relationships, mental clarity and even the simple act of getting out of bed in the morning without a hangover.” It’s a blessing to all of us when any one of us claims back their life from addiction. I could dance around my table.

While I’m jumping for joy, I express our deepest thanks to all who supported our Winter Appeal. I know there are solid arguments available to anyone who chooses not to donate their money to others and that there are few arguments in favour of making sacrifice. It isn’t those who preach who make the world sweet but those whose sentiment is embodied in sacrifice. Thank you for making the world a better place. Thank you on behalf of this team who give their lives in answer to your generosity. Thank you on behalf of those who would be otherwise forgotten. Robyn and I gave of our money to the point of pain this year and this morning we had the awkward discussion about how we will meet upcoming commitments. “Oh well,” I said, trying to be funny, “great will be our reward in heaven”. Ever the practical one, Robyn said, “I seriously doubt it”. The reward for sacrifice is life. Thank you for giving your money in order that others will live. Thank you to those who wounded your bank account and built your character. Thank you on behalf of all those who will walk in here this year on the worst day of their lives and find warmth, acceptance and a second chance.

Being part of this inner circle is important and I’m glad you are included,

Graham


Rev Graham Long

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

www.revgrahamlong.com

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Previous Inner Circles

2015

25 June: Something funny, something beautiful

18 June: Seeing what's there

11 June: Amazing mates

4 June: There's a time and a place

28 May: The weight and the joy of being a neighbour

21 May: You're invited

14 May: Laughing, lying and loving

7 May: The awesome in the ordinary

30 April: Wayside light

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

2014

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

2013

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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