Inner Circle


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Dear Inner Circle,

In a tiny living room this week I was a guest at a birthday party. Actually, I was the complete guest list. A precious old lady throws a party for herself at this time each year and I’m not sure how many people are invited but generally I’m the only one who attends. There have been years when there were two or three of us who gather to celebrate the life of this gorgeous old thing. At one point she asked me if I would like some savoury biscuits with french onion dip. I politely declined but it caused her to yell at the top of her frail voice, “Then I will have bought them for nothing!” I was served a few small biscuits with a blob of dip in a saucer and I ate them all, including the soggy few that had sat in water.

A fellow travelled a long way to visit me to discuss his possible fifth wedding. He told me that he thought there was something in wedding cake that caused women to lose their appetite for physical intimacy. In a way, he was saying that love is an illusory idea and the only comfort in life on offer is the first “discovery” phase of a relationship. One wonders why he would want to go through this cycle yet again. It’s not for me to judge. I think the man feels trapped by his own neediness and that a man’s inborn desire for love is some kind of cosmic joke. I agree that intimacy must be lost, simply because there are clothes to wash, there is shopping to be done, and money to be earned. As we do these everyday things it’s inevitable that we form firm ideas about the one we love. But the other person is always greater than our idea of them. The trick is to turn from our ideas long enough to be captured by the awesome that captured us in the first place. Anyway, I’m only telling you this story so that I can share with you the funniest quote of the week. The man thought he was quoting the bible to me when he said, “A camel cannot live by bread alone”. I love my life.

Most of this week I’m with the NSW Australian of the Year crew visiting schools and local councils from Sydney to Wagga Wagga. I’m visiting nine high schools plus a youth refuge and a city council in three days. Today’s note comes from the busy metropolis of Temora. The things you do for love.

On Monday, while walking through the main drag of Kings Cross, a woman stopped me. “They told me at the hospital to ‘get my affairs in order’ because I’ve only got weeks left". Her face and arms were ballooned and her colour was pretty much blue. She struggled for every breath. We embraced right at the door of Porky’s, a place famous for pretend intimacy. “You’re the toughest, cheekiest girl I know and I love you” I said. “I’m not ready for this” she said. “I’ll be holding your hand and singing to you from this side and you’ll land in a safe place on the other side”. “I could do without the singing” she said.

As always, delighted that you are part of our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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Previous Inner Circles


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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