Inner Circle

 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Dear Inner Circle,

The front of our building in Kings Cross catches some warming sun in the morning. For those who are wet and cold, this is a significant gift. It’s one of the few places where tired and shabby people will not be asked to ‘move on’. Sometimes I sit with the crowd early in the day just to remind myself of the difference between ‘big’ and ‘little’. It’s rather easy to let the machinery of serving people loom larger than the people the machinery is designed to serve. As we chatted this morning, a couple of cops walked past us and into our building. One cop was wearing a tazer-gun. I said to the fellow next to me, “Those tazer-guns give me the creeps.” “No!” he snapped back at me. “To be shot by one of those things is the best way in the world to clear your sinuses.”

In a single day, I often move from the gutter to the penthouse and back again. At 11am one day this week, I sat literally in the gutter with a fellow who is not long out of prison who had already broken every promise he’d made to himself while incarcerated. At noon, I was in the board room of DibbsBarker, addressing a most august gathering of executives and being served lunch to a standard that would do any three-hat restaurant proud. Just before I spoke, a senior lawyer sitting next to me asked, “Do you spend your time running welfare programs or trying to save souls?” There are times when my cackle becomes a laugh that is really too big for a board room. I said, “If ‘saving souls’ is to be concerned with ‘belief’ then I never worry about saving souls.” Arranging cognitive propositions to align to some orthodoxy seems like a ludicrous activity to me. Salvation comes through the feet not through the head. It matters where you go and it matters how you love others and make the world a better place. I observed that the greatest gifts to the world are often made by those who believe the wrong things, while often those who destroy the world are orthodox in every way. This conversation was just a minute at the most as I was then introduced and invited to speak to the group about Wayside. Two hours later I was sitting in McDonalds eating food I didn’t need and drinking coffee I didn’t want, while a man poured out his heart in slow agonising sentences. It was an honour to be in the gutter. It was an honour to be in the board room and it was an honour to be in Maccas. It was a special thrill to see our coffee table book Wayside on display in the beautiful DibbsBarker offices.

Recently a person visiting Wayside shared with us about their transgender journey. They were surprised to find how many people are around who share in this journey. It’s still a tough road for anyone who dares to make such a stand. This poor young person was set upon by a group of young men who had no issue except that this person didn’t fit the norm. Today the person sits in a hospital bed with a broken eye socket. I’m glad that Wayside is a place where anyone, on any kind of journey, can expect to find support and a haven from such cruelty. My heart goes out to the young thugs who damage themselves by trying to feel ok about who they are by looking down on someone else. It is an act that erodes their own ground for being.

There is a lovely old bloke who has always called me ‘Dad’. Sometimes I call him ‘Son’ but I’m puzzled about how this tradition began. Yesterday we shared a coffee and he told me he was my age! “Man alive! I can’t believe you’re my age and yet you call me ‘Dad’ all the time. Perhaps you should call me, ‘Brother’ or just settle and call me, ‘Graham’”. “Fair enough,” he said, “You’re quite right. I’ll see you later Dad!”

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,

Graham

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

23 March: Another Day At The Office

16 March: A Good Start To The Day

9 March: Permission To Be Human

2 March: Every Life Celebrated

23 February: Surprised By Joy

16 February: Wayside Isn't A Place, It's An Activity

9 February: Heavy With Meaning

2 February: The Danger of Stability

26 January: Australia Day

19 January: Wow

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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