Thursday, 5 December 2013
Dear Inner Circle,
On Friday I was with my granddaughters when their Mummy asked if we could babysit the following day for a few hours. Mummy and Grandma started a conversation about whether we should arrive at 12noon or 1pm the following day. It is surprising how many factors needed to be considered in a decision like this. My 6 year old granddaughter headed out of the room and in no time was back and handed me a folded piece of paper. She maintained eye contact to be certain I would get her message. The note said, “Be here at 11”. I’m so proud of a girl who can make a decision and sidestep bureaucracy.
I once told you a story of a shabby looking man who blocked my path as I sought to escape the building and keep a pressing appointment. This happened in the old cafe and only months after my son had died. I was a bit annoyed at the shabby man who I thought couldn’t have a clue of the pressures I was under at the time. When it was obvious that I couldn’t step around him, he threw his arms around me and kissed my face then whispered in my year, “that was from your son”. The shabby man was named Gaz and he became my friend. I loved him because he helped snap me out of autopilot and back to life. I gave him my son's favourite jacket and he never failed to ask after my granddaughters whenever we met. Gaz died last Friday on the footpath in Kings Cross, he was 45 years old.
We really loved Gaz and all the joy and sadness he brought to our lives changed us, leaving us with something precious that wasn’t there before. I’m not sure that I can name that 'something' except to call it the 'Gaz factor'; the power of presence.
About 30 angels from SCEGGS, a school in Darlinghurst, visited Wayside on Wednesday to provide a concert. This event didn’t make the papers or radio news but it was never-the-less, a heart stopper. What a powerful gift music can be. A man who normally lives in a psychotic state began to dance…and he could dance. He began to speak coherently about how he loved music when he was young. At the end of the concert he approached many of the girls to say “thank you”. I saw him this morning with his shirt ripped on both sides and long trousers, ripped to shreds, revealing his undies; he was back to his mad self but on Wednesday, we met him. What a moment of mission and what a wonderful gift the girls from SCEGGS made that day.
A rare opportunity has arisen to join the most effective working team I’ve ever known. We are currently looking for a Business Manager. We need someone who is competent with financial reporting and can bring a business background to our Executive Team. You will manage a most energetic and inspiring team. If this is you, or you know someone with the right skills who would be a good fit with Wayside, please spread the word. Applications close on Monday, 16 December. We're also looking for someone to join our Cafe team as Assistant Coordinator. You can find more details about both roles here.
On my way in this morning, a large man stopped me in the alley way. “I know you’re a hard man,” he said a couple of times. I physically turned around to see if a hard man was standing behind me.
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
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