Inner Circle


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Dear Inner Circle,

Our ambassador, Kylie Kwong, brought her entire team into Wayside yesterday for a talk and walk around Kings Cross with Rob Holt, our Community Educator, who was once on the street. I’m certain the day opened their eyes to a side of this city that could be known no other way, and that I guess would help weld her team together putting most of their problems into a healthy perspective. People who order noodles in our cafe on Friday don’t realise it but they are eating straight from Kylie’s kitchen. We’re a class act here.

Last night getting out of a cab on my way to a speaking engagement, the door flung open quicker than I expected and connected with a flash looking white BMW. It left a mark on the paint but I couldn’t tell if it was a scratch or a mark that might rub off. A woman got out of the flash BMW and I apologised and handed her my card. I told her that if the mark didn’t come off that I’d be glad to get it fixed. She said, “I’ve come here tonight to hear you speak.” I love cars probably more than I should and if I owned a lovely BMW like this one, it would be hard to be gracious about someone damaging it. As the night passed, the BMW owner become more and more gracious. At the end of the night, I gave her a copy of my book and so from a most awkward beginning we ended the evening in mutual admiration and bucket loads of thanks to each other. It could have been a disaster but grace transforms negatives into positives.

First thing in the morning yesterday someone was calling my name as I came down Hughes Street. I didn’t hear this call but Robyn did and and so I stopped and turned to see who it might be. Both my Mum and Dad were deaf as posts at my age and I’m finding that I’m well on the way, but that is another story. The person calling my name was a short woman that I’m certain I’ve never met. By the time she reached me, we were standing on the road in Orwell Lane. She said, “Can I have a hug?” We hugged and she hung on tight. The lady said, “thank you” and because all good things are mutual, I said, “thank you” and she walked away. I uttered only two words and I have no idea what happened in this less than 60 second encounter but I suspect it was significant.

My heart breaks as I read how Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia all refuse assistance to the Rohingya people floating on the high seas in a desperate bid to find safety. Where the hell do our neighbours get the idea that such inhuman treatment is acceptable behaviour for civilised people? The news this morning is that Malaysia and Indonesia have responded with compassion to immediately provide help to about 7,000 people. If only there was a large expanse of land somewhere that was lightly populated and who had enough compassion and leadership in this situation. It makes me wish there was a country that almost had a national anthem that had a line like…”For those who come across the seas, we’ve boundless plains to share”.

To be captured by the awesome is to be captured. I’m certain there is no psychological trick or act of meditation or prayer that by itself achieves an encounter with the awesome. I’m certain that this is a party that we can only attend by invitation. I’m also convinced that the invitation is always present. We miss it not through any ill will but rather because we’re busy, making arrangements and managing life.

That’s enough, thanks so much for being part of this inner circle,


Rev Graham Long

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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Previous Inner Circles


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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