Inner Circle

 

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Dear Inner Circle,


A little card, not much bigger than a postage stamp, which read, “To my darling daughter. Happy first birthday. Love from Dad”, was all that a young woman had from her father. She is 22 years old now and recently discovered that the father she had not seen since she was a little girl had recently died. All she had were lots of questions and an ache for connection. She discovered her father had a connection to Wayside and went to some trouble to make contact with me. In last week’s note I anticipated a meeting which took place last Friday evening. Am I the luckiest man in the world? It was holy ground where I spoke for hours about the Dad she didn’t know. I assured her that her father was a good man who was well loved and who made a wonderful difference to our community. I presented her with a “book” that he had written to her. There were perhaps 20,000 words written by a man who was largely illiterate but who sat with a one of our volunteers for hundreds of hours in order to leave behind a record of his love for his little girl. Our volunteer has since moved out of Sydney and I worried whether I still had a connection to tell her this story. Thankfully, she is still in this inner circle and she made contact with me on Saturday. She said that she barely hoped to believe that one day the daughter would have all this work in her hands and be able to receive this gift of love. Thank you Fran. You are truly an angel from heaven.


A man who has lived in his car with a little dog for a year was allocated housing this week. What a difference a day makes. This is a softly spoken man who actually asks nothing of anyone. He is a proud man whose sense of independence has seen him struggle but survive and even thrive through a life that had few, if any, free kicks. He has the most devoted little dog in the world. He could command his dog to stay and walk away for the day and be certain that the dog would be waiting for him. He looks like he belongs around a camp fire in the bush somewhere and indeed, that has been his home for most of his life. Can you imagine what it means for him to have keys in his pocket to his own living space. I haven’t seen the flat but I’ve seen the keys often enough.


If you are a listener to ABC 702, we at Wayside love you. After the rotten weather recently, I put a shout out for help on 702 and the response is humbling. Blankets, warm clothes and undies have been streaming through our front door. There are a lot of good people in this world. My strong sense is that all of these gifts are from people who aren’t particularly wealthy but they are good people who are thankful for a roof over their heads and willing to sacrifice a little for the sake of those who don’t. On behalf of the shivering, I offer our deepest, widest, highest thanks. Our deepest thanks also to all who have donated money towards our Winter Appeal this June or who will do so before June 30. It is you my friends for whom possession comes with a sense of awe and sacrifice is not a word but an act of liberation.


Working girls in the main drag rarely want any social chit chat while working up the street. One lady however, with a familiar face, invited me over to talk. She told me of some sad family news and asked me for pray for her. Normally the only men who stand for more than a minute in this situation are negotiating price yet I must have been there for 20 minutes. I guess it didn’t look fabulous but we held hands and I prayed the prayer that ends, “For I am the Lord your God the holy one and you are precious and honoured in my sight and I love you.”


Thanks for being part of our inner circle,

Graham


Donate to Wayside's Winter Appeal here.


Rev Graham Long AM

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

www.revgrahamlong.com

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

Previous Inner Circles

2016

9 June: At the end of the line

2 June: Lots of perspiration and a touch of inspiration

26 May: Swimming against the tide

19 May: Every 7 days but not weakly

12 May: I once was blind

5 May: A place to belong

28 April: Lest we forget

21 April: I've seen into the abyss

14 April: Colourful language

7 April: Poetic licence

31 March: Happy in the Cross

24 March: Easter

17 March: A party mix

10 March: The intimacy of everything

3 March: An unusual look

25 February: He ain't heavy

18 February: Tears of laughter and sadness

11 February: Wisdom is a tricky business

4 February: A wave from The Wayside Chapel

28 January: Some long distance loving

21 January: No time for judgement

2015

17 December: Last note for 2015

10 December: Sanity Clause if coming to town

3 December: It's all about the presence

26 November: The joy of not knowing

19 November: The curse of perfectionism

12 November: To speak is to act

5 November: My cup runneth over

29 October: Prophet and loss

22 October: Finding yourself in a magical team

15 October: A silly question

8 October: Surprised by the joy

1 October: Being dead right

24 September: A day by the Wayside

17 September: It's a gold rush

10 September: The psychology of onions

3 September: Life comes from without

27 August: Surprised by the beautiful

20 August: Light shining through the cracks

13 August: A matter of balance

6 August: Recognising a gift

30 July: Your weakly note

23 July: 'A thing' from the Wayside

16 July: The future is calling

9 July: In love with some Dame

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

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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