Inner Circle


Thursday, 9 July 2015

Dear Inner Circle,

Dame Marie Bashir was in our lift yesterday and I saw her put her arms around an aboriginal woman. She said, “Every time I see an aboriginal sister, I just want to say, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Dame Marie was here for our celebrations to mark NAIDOC Week. There were few happier places on earth than Wayside yesterday. We were able to peer into a future Australia that will enter into it’s own maturity because it knows that to love the land means to love the people of the land.

A homeless woman rushed through our front door the other day to say that someone had set fire to another homeless person’s mattress. There is a mattress set up near the theatre right behind us. We were about to rush to the fire and the lady said, “Don’t rush, I put the fire out.” She went on to explain that she’d poured all of her wine over the fire. I’m not sure if she was expecting we’d replace her supply of plonk or perhaps nominate her for an Order of Australia.

A man with quite a sad face approached me this morning. I don’t think we’ve spoken before although I recognised him as someone who appears here from time to time. “I miss Gary” he said. “Gosh, so do I” I replied. It’s been over a year since Gary, one of our much-loved visitors had a massive stroke on the footpath and died. He spoke for a while about how Gary taught him what friendship was. When he was first homeless and sleeping in a park, if Gary had a sandwich, he’d share half with his mate. Gary would choose to sleep in the more exposed spot, offering his mate some sense of protection from danger. He gave me half a dozen examples of the wisdom of Gary. Many of you would have heard me tell a story of a shabby bloke who confronted me one day when I was in a hurry to leave. It was some months after my son had died and I was coping even if I was flying on auto pilot. Gary blocked my way in the front door and I couldn’t get past this shabby man with the goofy look on his face. Eventually he put his arms around me and kissed my cheek and whispered, “That was from your son”. That was Gary and we became close friends and I miss him too.

Another homeless fellow told me that he’d like to buy a farm and help people get off drugs. “I’ve got a couple of million in the bank but it wouldn’t be enough for a farm,” he said. My first reaction was to point out that if he had a million dollars, he could probably afford some warm clothes and a roof over his head. I was quickly reminded of a job I had in ancient times in a boys reformatory. Every little kid had a story of rich parents or a rich uncle whose wealth was beyond calculation. Every little boy had a story about how their rich relative would appear one day soon and all would be revealed. Likewise it’s not uncommon for homeless people to tell me that they’ve got a winning lottery ticket or that they are due to inherit riches. I suspect there is a longing in all of us that intuits worth for which there is no evidence. I suspect it is not an unhealthy response but rather a crude and clumsy attempt to reach for the worth that is given by virtue of being alive and part of society.

Dame Marie said while we were lining up for food yesterday, “I reckon Jesus must peer down from heaven, look at Wayside and say, ‘Thank goodness someone is getting it right.’” It is any wonder that we love that woman so much? Full honour to Monique, Will, Ma’Ata and Annelise in our Aboriginal Project, our volunteers and everyone else who made our NAIDOC Week such a fabulous success.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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Previous Inner Circles


2 July: Better days ahead

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


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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