Inner Circle


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Dear Inner Circle,

“Dad, I’ve just chosen a nursing home for you!” My daughter must have thought this would be welcome news! She said, “It’s really close to where I live and if I get any calls in the middle of the night to say, ‘Your father has gone walkabout’, I won’t have far to look.” How good is it to have a daughter that is looking out for my best interests…a long way in advance.

A dad with a broken heart wanted to tell me what a beautiful son he had and so we gazed into some photos. He only had a dozen photos and some of those were school photos. Recognising anyone’s kid from a school photo is a tough assignment. There were a couple of photos of a strong, healthy-looking boy in carefree days. People of good will often avoid talking to a grieving parent about their deceased child and that might be the right tactic for some but this man wanted to talk about his son. He wanted to hear his son’s name in the air.

This morning a young wife could barely speak as she told me that her husband had sunk into such despair that suicide was looking like a real option. She was talking about a man who has everything going for him and yet cannot make headway on a project of importance to him. These two have a net worth way beyond mine (perhaps not a good measure of wealth) and they have everything they need. They love each other and they have three adorable daughters. It’s a relatively easy matter to slip into a deep depression even when you have everything in the world. While I don’t know the man so well, it seems he’s formed a habit of spending every waking moment focusing on what he doesn’t have rather than what he does have.

Oh how I wish I had a magic wand that could be waved to produce money, jobs, heal relationships and even perhaps to resurrect the dead. It’s mightily frustrating to only have love when so many want magic. I can be a tower of weakness for people and that is the beginning and end of it. Some seek presence, most seek presents. Love is a let down for those who seek lollies. Today for a time the man with the photos and grieving heart and I, were together. I didn’t tell him that I’d lost a son and he didn’t ask but we were together for a time, I truly with him and he truly with me. I was not a counsellor and he was not a client but we were brothers; two dads, knowing that we were each with the other. I had no wisdom, I just looked at the photos.

So my dear friends, take a moment to break any habit of looking for what isn’t there and just briefly see what is there. If you have a son or a daughter, find them and behold the wonder of who they are and thank them for being in your life. If you have a roof over your head, take a moment to remember that you have what many only dream about. If you have a warm bed, enjoy slipping into it tonight and notice the luxury of having such a place of rest. If you have a partner, try to turn from your idea of them, to see them. Remember that your loved ones are always greater than your idea of them. If you have a job, even a difficult job, remember those who’d love to have any job. I’m not discouraging aspiration to more but I am saying that if we introduce some presence, we’ll more than likely find we have all the presents we need.

Thanks for being part of this inner circle,


Rev Graham Long

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

Want to receive the Inner Circle directly into your inbox every Thursday? Sign up here.


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

Previous Inner Circles


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



Get Involved