Thursday, 7 May 2015
Dear Inner Circle,
On my way in this morning I noticed the children's playground was busier than usual and memories of the days when my children were little and such parks had a gravitational pull for them came back to me. I was running late this morning and content to walk past quickly but a little boy recognised me and came over to me at the fence. He had news that I needed to hear. His jeans had nine pockets! He knew this news was probably beyond my capacity to believe so I had to carefully count each pocket and confirm the total of nine. My day is off to such a great start because I’ve counted nine pockets. How often is the awesome wrapped in the ordinary?
Our most valuable assets are not in bank vaults and showroom windows but within us and all around us. Kings Cross is an awesome place with an awesome history and Wayside is inviting everyone from all walks of life to pause and ponder how awesome are the people in our community. We’re putting on a photographic exhibition that highlights how awesome is the ordinary. Join us if you can on Tuesday 12th May at 6pm.
He is a little sample of the astonishing ordinary.
“I have created a life of dust, grit, thirst and itch. Every trace of beauty and freshness had to be excluded. It has had the effect of smothering me, before I am done. I’ve got a grudge against my life for not having been a different life.”
How’s that for honesty and depth?
“Charlie would always look after me on the streets. He’d always make sure I slept with my back to the wall and he slept with his back to the street. He really didn’t sleep, he always had one eye open watching for danger. When I woke up in the morning, I’d let Charlie sleep for a few hours and then we’d head to Wayside for our showers.”
How’s that for love in tough times?
“I was truly at a low point in my life when I first came to Wayside in April 2010. A few weeks prior to this I had attempted take my life by gassing myself in my car, only to be saved by one of homeless friends. Living on the streets of Kings Cross is where I had found myself. I wanted to end it all. I wanted to end the drinking and pot smoking. I wanted to end the rut I had been living in for the last couple of months. I was living a life I could no longer accept. I had hit rock bottom. Fast forward five years and as Graham would put it, I am ‘rich’. Yes, I am very rich with all the love and support that is bestowed on me.”
How’s that for transformation?
“I was working on the cotton fields in 1967 and that’s when I met my mother. I was the water boy. It was hot and there were women everywhere. I said to them, ‘Anyone know my mother?’ and they said, ‘Yeah she’s over there.’ We hugged and both of us cried a bit. She cooked me tea that night.”
How’s that for a massive story in a humble voice?
These are a small sample of the stories that accompany the beautiful images captured by Katherine Williams that will be on display in our hall. Join us if you can and allow yourself to be captured by the extraordinary in the ordinary.
One more - I’ve had so many lovely emails this week but this one is the winner…from a young Mum with four kids.
“I just wanted to write you a quick note to let you know just how much I appreciate you and everything you have done for not just myself but my family too. A while ago I subscribed to your Inner Circle and since then I have never looked back. I read your wise words and every time I do it changes me bit by bit. You have brought out a side of me that I never really knew was missing! You have taught me humanity, compassion, love and forgiveness. I now see the world so differently than what I did before and my only regret is that I didn’t see it sooner. I just wanted to say a quick thank you for teaching me more than I realised I had to learn and I look forward to learning more about life and myself. Hopefully I can pass this down to my children.”
If that was the only ’thank you’ email I ever got in my life, I’d be perfectly satisfied. How rich am I to have shared in the life of this dear young woman.
This time, it’s enough,
Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Rev Graham Long
CEO & Pastor
The Wayside Chapel
Want to receive the Inner Circle directly into your inbox every Thursday? Sign up here.
Be sure to follow Graham on Twitter if you have an account; @waysidepastor
Previous Inner Circles
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