Dear Inner Circle,

This is the time of year when gratitude for a warm bed can be outweighed by the desire to not leave it. Every time I’m tempted into that line of complaint I like to remind myself of where I am heading later in the morning. The luxury of being able to lie in a little longer fills me with a sense of re-doubled commitment for those who do not have that option. For people sleeping rough on our streets, daily ‘move on’ orders are barked loudly, often breaking what has already been a fitful night of broken sleep in the cold. This is the time of year where our staff and volunteers at our community centres double down their efforts to ensure that mornings are pleasant, and that they provide a place that can become, if only for a little while, a place of comfort and the central part of the morning ritual for many. A toilet, a shower, and a hot cup of tea can all revive weary souls if offered in love. As today is the coldest day for 25 years in Sydney, I ask that you spare a thought for people without shelter who will be braving the elements tonight and make a donation to our winter appeal. A few dollars given in love, will make a huge difference.

Donate today
Words are a powerful tool, and they can be used to build up or to tear down. They can also speak into existence a new reality. Phrases like “I love you”, “I hate you” or “I declare you married” aren’t just words strung together. Once said they cannot be unspoken and they will change a person’s life forever. This morning on the street I ran into someone who doesn’t know her own strength or beauty. All she can see is failure, and all she has been raised to hear is that which confirms her fears. I placed my hand above her head and prayed – “You are honoured and precious in My sight”. To the many who were swishing past it made an odd sight, but for the both of us a brief moment in which we stood outside of ourselves was shared. She didn’t need good advice, she just needed a little love.

This week two stories popped up on my newsfeed, one was about a brave celebrity buying a hot dog in a t-shirt, the other was about a family who have been trapped in a game of cruelty for political purposes. All they want to do is to go home to Biloela, the small country town that has embraced them as their own. We exist between triviality and tragedy, and yearn for a world where loves wins over hate and for a country with leadership that abandons slogans and makes room for nuance and compassion. We are better, we can do better!

Thanks for being part of our compassionate Inner Circle.

Jon

Jon Owen

Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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