Inner Circle


Thursday, 12 November 2015

Dear Inner Circle,

Kings Cross is a great community. I decided this week to walk up to the main drag and write this note from a spot near the fountain. Already I’ve been stopped by numerous people. One was a dear old lady who looks to be at least mid-seventies, with a high mileage face and looking a bit the worse for wear even at this hour, but nevertheless with a kindness in her face. She’s a short little lady whose hair has been set in a way that would remain still in a cyclone. She looks like she’s spent all her life telling someone off and giving lectures about how the world was once perfectly ordered when the world was a tougher place. Oddly, she knew who I was and asked, “Do you drink carver, farver?” It’s a funny question I know. “Makes you sleep like a baby” she said.

Directly across the road is a woman plying her trade. Quite a large girl with almost everything on show. It looks like she’s wearing a blond wig and she has large sunglasses on, making it clear that it’s the body that’s for sale rather than the person. This mind/body schism works for men and women in the sex trade, and for most of us at the moment of death, but generally we find it problematic to divide psyche and body. She’s just been joined by a rival or mate who is working the same spot just near me. The second young woman is known to me. She has a trim body and the dress she’s wearing is her method of keeping potential customers' attention away from the face and the person. This second woman is intelligent and comes from a good home. She has an addiction and this work is her only real option for funding her habit. There is nothing easy about earning a living in this way.

A policeman recognised me just now and stopped for a chat. He told me how he respects our Wayside staff and how he wants to build a closer working relationship. In 11 years here I can report that mostly we’ve had good relationships with the police who generally show remarkable patience with people who need medical help rather than law enforcement.

A group of about 20 high schools girls have congregated just up the road. I craned my neck to find it was our Community Educator Rob conducting a school education group. I couldn’t hear what Rob was saying but the unmistakable love and passion of his voice filled me with pride. The only words I could make out were, “no judgement” and “making community”. A proud moment for me.

I’ve been here only 10 minutes and Mrs high milage face with the crash helmet hair must have smoked four cigarettes already. That accounts for the face I guess. The working girls are asking just about every man that passes, “Are you looking for a lady?” There is an old bloke, every bit of 80-years-old who is a spruiker, although spruikers don’t work like they used to. He just sits on a stool next to the doorway occasionally talking to other senior citizens going past.

There are all kinds of people streaming past. Plenty of people look like they’re on the way to or from a gym. I suspect gym clothes are not cheap. It’s funny how wealthy people can wear gym clothes or even shorts and thongs and still look rich. There are business people making their way briskly to whatever lies before them today. There is a bloke sitting in a café over the road who is getting a bloke in a café on this side of the road to buy him a coffee. Over the noise of the traffic, they’re yelling to get clarity about how many sugars to put in the cappuccino.

Our community is a bit crazy, edgy and colourful yet honest and beautiful.

My heart sank yesterday when I read of a man who was put off a bus because he wouldn’t or couldn’t speak English. Ignorance and fear abound. Speaking English is the most multicultural act possible. To speak racism in English must be the contradiction of the century. To speak is to act. To speak English is to make an action in favour of multiculturalism. This paragraph has got my mind racing so I’ve just written about it on my blog. Check it out here.


Thanks for being part of our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long AM

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


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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