Inner Circle


Thursday, 30 March 2017

Dear Inner Circle,

Flying is not my favourite pastime but this week at Melbourne airport, I found myself walking behind a young dad with a little boy, perhaps three years old. The little boy said, “Hey, why don’t you carry me to where we are going to meet Mummy?” This loving dad was on a mission but he clearly adored this little boy. “Hey,” he said, “Why don’t you carry Daddy to where we will meet Mummy?” The sense of fun between these two was beautiful. The plane I was waiting for turned out to be the plane that would bring Mummy to these two. While we were waiting, the dad started to lift his son up by the waist so that he was head height with his Dad but upside down and feet high in the air. This is what Dads do. The little boy was squealing with delight and every time he was put back on his feet, he’d yell, “Again!” The travelling public are not usually a fun crowd so these were the only squeals of delight to be heard in Melbourne airport on Monday. The crowd were even less amused when father and son joined hands to spin around to ‘ring-a-ring o' roses’, especially when they came to the ‘we all fall down’ part. My heart soared. I was lifted to heaven and would travel to Melbourne every day of the week to see this again. Eventually, Mummy appeared and dropped to her knees to catch the running hug from her little boy. In due course, Mum arose and gave her husband a hug like they were both in high school and on a first date. The little boy held his Mum’s case patiently waiting for this unnecessary affection to cease so he could get on with the next adventure. As they walked away from us, I could see the mother wiping tears from her eyes.

“I haven’t gambled for two weeks!” said a beaming face as I walked into the building today. I knew by the gait of the walk as well as the smile, that I was finally about to hear some positive news. Of all the addictions available to us, surely gambling is one of the most miserable. I love this dear man and it breaks my heart to see his arms covered in scars from the times he has punished himself for pouring any money he gets into poker machines. An arresting puzzle is that he knows before the activity begins that he’ll lose all he has. The longing to win seems to trump the sum of every experience he’s had with the wretched machines. Anyway, we’re celebrating today, two weeks of enough money for train fares and food. Long may it last. If only I had a magic wand.

Confession is supposed to be good for the soul, so I’m happy to tell you that all my life I’ve been something of a serial pest for car salespeople. For many years, window shopping for cars I could never afford has been something of a hobby. In recent years, I’ve bothered fewer salespeople because I can do most of my dreaming online. At about midnight last night when I’d been working all evening and should have gone to bed, I did some online dreaming. I was shocked to be confronted by a little window that popped up which had me talking in real time to a real person. Unfortunately, I gave my phone number to the mystery person who works all night to trap pests like me. The next morning while driving with Robyn, I answered the phone to be super embarrassed to be talking to a car salesperson. I tried to tell the person that I’m just a pest for salespeople and thankfully the person hung up quite quickly. I thought that I’d told the person that ‘I’d cooled off’ on the idea of spending money I didn’t have. Robyn said to me, “You told that person that, ‘you were on ice.’” “Surely not!” I said. Robyn who is so patient said, “I promise you, you said ‘I’m on ice.” Oh! While not totally uncommon at Wayside, I am certainly not on ice, although it was an effective line for getting rid of enthusiastic salespeople.

A dear old street dweller worried us recently as we witnessed his body weight evaporate. It was no small feat on the part of our social workers to get him the medical attention that he so badly needed, but so strenuously resisted. He was kept in hospital for a few weeks and is back on the street this week, looking so much better. He summoned me across the street last night and I said to him, “It’s great to see you looking well. You’ve got a new lease on life.” He shuffled away from me saying over and over, “I have a new lease on life”. What a sweetheart.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long AM

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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Previous Inner Circles


30 March: I'm On Ice

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


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


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


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



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