Dear Inner Circle,
A bright young spark full of passion and persistence has been messaging me, keen to come in and check out what we do. It was fun to walk them through our building as the place sprung to life, full of all the familiar action that has returned after a long hiatus of lockdown. We headed upstairs to witness what on the surface of it appeared to be an art class being conducted in our Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Yet, if you looked closer you would have seen how the art was slowly being woven into a story that pointed all present back to an ancient source of healing from trauma. All of this was happening seamlessly over warm cups of tea and under the loving guidance of our very own living saint, Aunty Nancy.
We made our way upstairs and passed a section of the building being redone as we make space to begin something exciting and new that I look forward to sharing with you at a later time. We went out the back of one of our offices where our team of care coordinators were weaving a different kind of magic with housing applications. Who would have thought that filling out a form could stir up so much love, care, and a fierce determination for those they were sitting with, to fight through all the bureaucracy that often hinders rather than helps someone as they make fledgling first steps back towards life.
What does this all add up to? It is easy to fall into the trap to think that what constitutes us is arrived at by adding up all we do. As impressive and tempting as that is, what holds more value is talking about who we are. Our mission is our method, and we are slowly weaving together a community of love and compassion. Out of that well flows all that we do.
I asked my young friend to sit downstairs for a while as what we do is more caught than taught. No longer than 10 minutes later he excitedly came up to find me, “I think I get it now. You see I bought myself some lunch at your cafe and tried to talk to someone who, I now realise, is clearly not living in a house. I stupidly asked him, “So, do you live around here?” He stared at me coldly, and then he responded, “Should that matter at all?”
There was a deep wisdom in that response that rendered him speechless. I suspect in that moment he really saw him not as a problem to be solved, but as a person to be met. In any real meeting all impulses to fix melt away too, so if all of us walk out the door feeling met rather than worked on, then regardless of how much rain we encounter, it will have been a good day.
Thank you for being part of our Inner Circle,
Rev. Jon Owen
Pastor & CEO