Inner Circle

 

Thursday, 13 January 2017


Dear Inner Circle,


Many years past, I’ve made a late start in January for this note but I’m not sure why. We’re here, we’re working at a pace, why wouldn’t I write?


One of this world’s gems saw me in our side lane this morning and called out, “Oh my father, can you give me a minute?” This woman has been a part of Kings Cross since the very early days. Long before my time, she lived in the grip of addiction but she’s been drug-free for at least fifteen years. A heavy accent causes me to miss at least half of what she says but I never fail to recognise an extraordinary capacity to love. Her very presence seems to calm people down and bring the best from them. She’s never asked me for money before but today she had a pressing emergency. When she runs out of money, it is no sacrifice for her to skip food but she can’t bear to see her two cats go hungry. She said, “Father, since I have no addictions, I don’t ‘steal’ from anyone but I do ‘nick’ cat food.” I’m glad she doesn’t steal but I’d prefer she doesn’t ‘nick’ either so I gave her a few dollars for cat food.


Our large Aboriginal community are in mourning because a well-loved and respected Uncle has just died. Our dear Uncle would often show up on Sundays and give an impromptu performance on a digeridoo as an act of worship. If there was no digeridoo to hand, he would perform on a vacuum cleaner hose. We loved him. He had a slight drinking problem but even so, his beautiful, gentle nature and his lively sense of humour were always discernible. Quite a few of our community will head up to his home country to say farewell next week and in a few weeks, we’ll hold a memorial service here for those who couldn’t make that trip. I’m not often shocked but I was stunned to find out that our dear old Uncle was only in his early forties.

A prominent “spiritual teacher” got engaged in a conversation with me about how at Wayside we aim not to “fix” people but rather to “meet”. The teacher began to catch the wisdom of our approach and became animated until she heard me give one of my bone-rattling coughs. I’ve had bronchiectasis all my life and I often don’t know that I’m about to give a deep rattling cough. It’s an interesting handicap when being interviewed on radio. As quick as my convulsion stopped, the teacher said, “I know exactly how to cure you.” It was a push away. I recognised a good heart but her need to fix, trumped her opportunity to meet. For a moment, I almost became a person in her presence but I quickly slipped into being a patient or a client. We’d all be more useful if we didn’t have such a need to be useful.


Happy New Year to you all and thanks for being part of this inner circle,


Graham


PS. If you’re looking to kick off the new year with a new job, today is the last day to submit your application for the role of Head of Marketing and Fundraising at Wayside. It’s a 12-month maternity cover contract. We’re looking for a fundraising or marketing specialist with a big heart and a strategic head. Find out more 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

2017

13 January: The Joy of Being Useless

2016

22 December: Miracles in the Messy

15 December: A Season for Demons

8 December: Soul Restorer

1 December: Holy Ground

24 November: Opening Presence for Christmas

17 November: On Our Best Behaviour For a Day

10 November: A Seismic Shift

3 November: Outcomes by Accident

27 October: Wow! Look How Far You've Come

20 October: Moving Toward Our Destiny

13 October: A Tribute

06 October: Risk and Sacrifice

29 September: Wisdom in Unconventional Places

22 September: It's What We Do at Wayside

15 September: The Joy of Being Wrong

8 September: Turning Toward Love

1 September: The Power of Weakness

25 August: Words as weapons

18 August: Wattle become of us

11 August: Precious and fragile

4 August: A wave from Wayside

28 July: Understanding bedlam

21 July: Time for some straight talking

14 July: Holy ground

7 July: Sowing in tears, reaping with shouts of joy

30 June: A bit of banter about Bondi

23 June: My cup runneth over

16 June: Injecting some joy

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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