Thursday, 17 April 2014
Dear Inner Circle,
Passing through the cafe late yesterday I saw a little, neat lady who might have been 80 years old. She had travelled a long way to see me and had sat in our cafe for five hours waiting to see me. She didn’t have an appointment and she didn’t speak to anyone. Sometimes frail little sausages sit in our cafe for a rest on their way to Woollies. It was a fluke that I said, “hello” as I went past. She told me that she was born a twin and had suffered damage at birth. She told me of a long life in which her twin had achieved everything while she had achieved little. She told me of a family who used her as the butt of their humour and blamed her for the tough times that descended upon the family. She had no husband, no children and no grandchildren. She had attempted to love her sister’s grandchildren but had been excluded even from this as if she posed some kind of threat. “I have nothing and no one,” she said. She could have cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” We sat side by side in my office. I had no wisdom but I was beside her.
That is my Easter message. The “good” of Good Friday is only that in the deepest, darkest hole, God is present. Not that any solution is offered or that any problem is fixed but that the Divine one is near. Pity fixes problems but loves sits alongside. Pity deals with things but love embraces the pain of love, waiting and hoping. What kind of God would descend into the darkness of Friday? A God of love!
What an amazing 50th celebration was last Sunday! David Wenham, Indira Naidoo, Dick Smith, Clover Moore, Malcolm Turnbull, Tanya Plibersek, Alex Greenwich, Matt Noffs, Bill Crews and many hundreds of people celebrated 50 years of being there for people in need. Our event had fabulous coverage on all the TV stations and in the papers. You catch up on it here and see photos of the day here. How lucky and blessed are we to live our lives by the Wayside. Many fabulous words were said but the prize goes to Malcolm Turnbull who said that Wayside is "an exercise in collective love”. Thank you to so many who attended, some from long distances and thanks for the many well wishes that came from you, our inner circle. One lady sent a greeting from Berlin. I sent a little note of thanks to which she replied, “Well, you are my church”.
We are looking for someone to join our Cafe team as Assistant Cafe Coordinator. If you'd love to leverage your passion for healthy food to enhance the lives of marginalised members of our community, we'd love you to apply. You can find more details here.
Over the past two years, we've had groups of people trek the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea and to the summit of Kilimanjaro in Africa all in the name of love. Together, these teams have raised over $250,000 for Wayside and have changed countless lives in the process. In April next year, we are setting off on another fundraising adventure to the Andes in Peru and we'd love for you to join.Explore the Andean wilderness whilst trekking on remote trails, before joining the final day of the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Places are limited to 20. Register here or email Laura Watts for more details.
Wayside has a brief Easter meditation happening this Friday at 10am. We will also meet on Sunday at 10am and no magic is on offer. No solutions will be proffered. No problems will be fixed but we will be together, learning to transform rivals and competitors into brothers and sisters. We’ll for a short time remember that the power of presence trumps the power of power. If you’re near Kings Cross on Friday or Sunday, we’d love to have you alongside, exploring with us the mystery of divine love.
For all the members of this inner circle who are travelling, please be careful and come home safely. Thanks for being part of this 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
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