Can I See You?

[vc_row columns_on_tablet=”keep” padding_top=”50″ padding_bottom=”50″][vc_column h_text_align=”left” h_text_align_mobile=”left” v_align=”v-align-middle” use_background=”” width=”1/1″][tm_textblock textarea_html_bkg_color=”#ffffff”]

Dear Inner Circle,

Victorians take their football rather seriously. On my break, I saw the AFL Grand Final on a big screen in a Victorian pub. My three brothers sat directly under the big screen. All are fanatic Crows supporters. All are loud. I mean LOUD. They are loud before any drinks are consumed and on this occasion, I expect the publican may be sending us a thank you note for the record profit this month. Our wives and my sister who were with us were sitting far enough away to plausibly deny any relation to us. I think they discreetly left early on. I understand nothing about football but it did give me time to reflect on how it might be possible that we all had the same mother and father. Luckily for us, the Crows lost and there were some Victorians content to enjoy our walk of shame to the door.

“I’m glad you’re back,” said one of our visitors yesterday. I thought he was about to say that he’d missed my presence in some way. “The paper dispenser in the male toilet is broken”. I tried to explain that I have a more capable team to take care of such things. “But are you the boss or not?” The easiest course was simply to promise that I’d get on it. There have also been many outpourings of affection. News is out that I’m leaving at the end of next year. Among many of our visitors, that message has changed (as all messages do around here) to that I’m leaving any minute now. I’ve been quite blown away by people referring to me as their, ‘best mate’, ‘father’, ‘brother’ and the like. One woman said, “You’re the closest thing I’ve ever had to a ‘dad”. Another fellow told me how he proudly claimed me as a good friend in his various social circles. I would have judged my impact on these particular people as minimal. I guess we never really know the impact we have on each other’s lives.[vc_row columns_on_tablet=”keep” padding_top=”0″ padding_bottom=”0″][vc_column h_text_align=”left” h_text_align_mobile=”left” v_align=”v-align-middle” use_background=”” width=”1/1″][tm_image image_id=”709″ link_image=”none” textarea_html_bkg_color=”#ffffff” caption_type=””][/tm_image][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row columns_on_tablet=”keep” padding_top=”50″ padding_bottom=”50″][vc_column h_text_align=”left” h_text_align_mobile=”left” v_align=”v-align-middle” use_background=”” width=”1/1″][tm_textblock textarea_html_bkg_color=”#ffffff”]There has been almost no time to enjoy the company of our visitors this week but yesterday as I approached the building, a rather lovely bloke asked if he could, “see me”. Two simple words that could be the most profound question. I wanted to respond, “I really don’t know. Can you see me?” Those words almost always mean a long speech is coming that will culminate in the need for two dollars. This fellow told me that he was in love with a woman who needed help to get to the country. All he needed from me was $1,500 to get her here! Top marks for ambition. The sincerity of this bloke melted my heart and made me forget the appointment for which I was already running late. I tried to pose questions that might cause him to entertain the possibility of a scam. Each of his responses made me progressively sadder. To prove the reality of this love, he showed me some photos that for me proved the scam, but not for him. In the end, I suggested he be honest and, “Tell the woman that you are so broke that you only get your morning coffee by begging. Tell her that there is no chance in the world of raising $1,500 and then see if her language remains as loving as it has been until now”. People just need to be loved. It’s sad that sometimes the most vulnerable and in need of love seem to be the least able to test the real from the unreal.

I’m writing this early in the morning because when this note arrives in your inbox, I’ll be conducting a funeral at Blacktown. I had not seen the woman who had died for well over twenty years. She tracked me down just weeks ago to say, “I’m dying and I’d love you to do my funeral”. It will be my honour to bury this good woman. Years ago, I buried her son and while we’ve not clapped eyes on one another since that time, clearly a bond was made that was strong, to her last breath.

The ground seems to move fast, but its holy ground we tread.

Thanks for being part of this inner circle.


Rev Graham Long
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

Subscribe to Inner Circle, Wayside’s Weekly letter to our community, at the button below to have it delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday. 

Thank you for your reading. Join the conversation by posting a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *