Dear Inner Circle,
Our words create our worlds, and sadly, the English language can rob us of the richness and depth that our lives are imbued with. As an example, “love” is thrown around all too easily, becoming the catch-all phrase for a range of emotions that might encompass an instant desire or express a life-long commitment, regrettably which ends up robbing the phrase “I love you” of meaning. Similarly, seeing someone on the street and labelling them as “homeless” can lead us to the synonym “hopeless” which can both absolve us of a sense of responsibility and blind us to the uniqueness and potential of everyone we see. Hence a big thank you must go out this week to an anonymous angel, a local resident of Kings Cross, who noticed a new young female face seeking shelter and looking lost on our streets. The act of recognition alone was a thing of beauty that deserves acknowledgement. Next, she invited this young woman to share breakfast and a conversation. The resident soon realised that the young woman had only just arrived from interstate and needed urgent support, which then led to her taking the young woman to our doorstep. From this point our anonymous angel departed, an act of love and immense trust as she lovingly handed the young woman over to us in the knowledge that she was in the right hands.
What happened over the next little while is difficult to describe other than to assure you that this young woman is now safely interstate with her grandmother. Our team’s efforts all hinged on the timing of her introduction to us, and had a series of acts not aligned over the next few hours her state of wellbeing and health would have declined considerably. We exist in a community of care and connection and in no way are we set apart from these communities but rather we are set amongst them in Kings Cross and Bondi Beach. I can’t wait for the day when we will throw open more doors in more communities, and a huge thank you goes to our local angel, whoever you are, thank you for taking a moment to change the course of a life.
Sometimes this note is written to you from a place of deep gladness, other times it is presented to you through pain. Last night I was with a group of family and friends, together we held hands, surrounding someone we all loved, accompanying him as he passed from this world to the next. Just a few days ago he was doing a volunteer shift in our community cafe, a role he has performed for a decade, but the cancer he so bravely fought off returned so quickly. We cried as we lost a precious brother, someone who once ran a successful business and lost it all, ending up on the streets but who had made his way back. Rather than ensuring he never would return to the services that supported him, once he emerged from the storm, he turned back in, giving his time at Wayside to those whose shoes he had walked in. Thank you, Peter, we will miss you, we will never be the same, you have changed us forever and we are the better for your life.
Life by the Wayside is certainly a reminder of what a heart is for, all real living is meeting, and we are so much for the richer for people like him.
Thank you for being part of our Inner Circle,
Rev. Jon Owen
CEO & Pastor