Inner Circle


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Dear Inner Circle,

A scientist once told me that the human act of standing upright was quite a feat. I’ve just been observing how difficult it can be. There is a fellow at our front door suffering from a double whammy of a body that can’t stop moving and a complete loss of balance. He’s trying to put some things into a bag and I’m at a loss to describe how difficult this task must be for him. He’s fallen over several times in the past few minutes, but he can’t stay still even once fallen. The worst feature of his situation is that all of the body movements are contorted in unnatural moves that look for all the world like he’s a puppet being manipulated by strings. A bloke walked past him just now and muttered, “Mate you were better on heroin than this sh**”. Not only will ice lead to an early death but it will make of your precious moments, miserable. As I write I’m comforted to see two staff members heading over to the man. There couldn’t be safer hands for this man than are lovingly applied here. I love all our people, but the staff and volunteers in our Community Services Centre on our ground floor are all angels among us.

Just a few feet away, the most beautiful thing is happening before my eyes. A few weeks ago I told you of a relatively young woman who is near her end. I’ve seen a wonderful outpouring of love lavished on this dear lady. I’ve seen our dear Una do some breathtaking things as a way of fulfilling a last wish when death is imminent. Una has a tough job at Wayside. She is responsible for a team of staff and volunteers and every day she has to be tough as boots and soft as mush. Una can bark in her heavy Scottish accent and she has a stare that would frighten a Labrador out of a butchers shop. Yet few hearts are so big, so soft and so generous. Our dying lady is just now sitting in our café, looking most unwell. Una stepped up to her and began to brush her hair. I just witnessed bliss. Our darling terminal lady closed her eyes, paralysed in ecstasy. Mr Falling Over Man probably never knew a high like this one. Una has just been called away and a beautiful volunteer has stepped in to take up “brush duties”. I love this place.

Our Rob’s Tours have really taken off and now we’ve added an extra dimension. Rob runs a tour of our immediate area and he uncovers a Sydney that few people have ever seen. Rob takes a walking group to the places he used to sleep and he explains how he used to live, often meeting and conversing with rough sleepers along the way. Rob is now in partnership with Andrew. Andrew’s tale is as moving as Rob’s and together they tell a powerful story. Andrew was once at such a low that he stood on a bridge ready to jump to his death when a stranger stopped and spoke to him and eventually walked with him around to St Vincent’s and waited until he got the help he needed. He’s a beautiful man and now a staff member of Wayside, so together with Rob an extraordinary encounter is on offer. If you think you know Sydney’s streets, a whole new world will be opened up to you. Both Rob and Andrew are living miracles. Both men have returned from the brink. Both share their pain of a life lost and both share their passion for a life regained. I’m so proud to tell you that they are both, today, colleagues and friends. As it happens there is some spaces left if you’d like to join the tour for Friday evening this week. If interested you can book here.

Gosh I have to run, thanks for being part of our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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Be sure to follow Graham on Twitter if you have an account; @waysidepastor

Previous Inner Circles


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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