Thursday, 22 August 2013
Dear Inner Circle,
Yesterday I sat in a cafe with a woman who told me that she was in a state of wonder to behold how I love my children and especially my granddaughters. She'd just read my book and was able to see in it, my love for my daughter and my granddaughters. "It's something very special isn't it to see good that really isn't there yet?" This was a beautiful insight but it was leading to a shock. I agreed that hope always comes before achievement. Before anyone achieves anything, someone hoped for the best and believed in the achievement before it was evident. It's always, 'grace first'. She told me that having read the book, she knew my life had not always been smooth and so it was a wonder to her that I had retained the kind of hope that would always belong to my daughter and granddaughters. Such hope is unquenchable for me no matter what the evidence. Out of the blue and in an emotional gush she said, "My mother tried to drown me!" This was a new memory and I could hear the bewilderment of a little kid that couldn't understand if they had done something wrong or why the one person they counted on for everything could have turned on her with such violence. I know this to be a gentle and sensitive person and I didn't see that coming. I left that conversation heavier than when I went into it, but heavier with meaning. Heavier but more alive.
This week both the workers in our Aboriginal Project have been off at a conference. It's been quite a busy week and we've missed their presence although if anyone deserved to get away for a bit to learn and network and refresh, it's these two people. A little while back we launched our Deck of Dreams project which is a way for people who live with mental health issues to not just dream for better days but to share and swap dreams with others. This rather unique idea came from our Jen who works in our Day to Day Living program. Jen went to Melbourne this week for the Mental Health Service Achievement Awards and won the gold award in the "consumer provided" category. We're all proud of Jen and delighted to be basking in the reflected glory.
We have a volunteer information session happening at Wayside tonight at 6pm. We're in urgent need of volunteers who are available during business hours to help out in our youth program. If you can give up a couple of hours each week to help us provide a safe and supportive environment for young people, we'd love to see you tonight. You can register for the session here.
There is immense privilege for me in the number and variety of places that I'm invited to speak these days. Last night I spoke to a packed house of investment gurus. There is more than a little irony for me to be addressing such a group. I told them that I know about human capital. I know how to mine a pile of waste and find the highest quality gold. I told them to imagine they were in a jet with Lang Hancock all those years ago, flying over what was considered wasteland and to hear him say, "There is immense wealth down there." If we could challenge the seductive, comforting illusion of our age, 'the power of one', we might see that there is a mining boom of human capital there for the taking. It only needs us to see it, believe in it and go get it. This would be a mining boom for which there is no down side. I don't know if they heard me as a prophet or a dead loss.
I must run, thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Rev. Graham Long
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Click here to listen to podcasts of past Inner Circle's, aired on ABC 702's 'Afternoons with James Valentine'
Be sure to follow Graham on Twitter if you have an account; @waysidepastor
Previous Inner Circles
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