We do well to remember that making a judgment of a person’s life, is a bit like taking a single frame and calling it the whole movie. I suspect that if we could see the whole movie of anyone’s life, we wouldn’t judge them, or we wouldn’t judge them as harshly. So many of our relationships lack life and possibility because we relate only to what we can see. Imagine approaching each person with a sense of wonder! How did this person get to this spot? Who inflicted what upon this person, and how has that played a part in forming their present moment? Where is this person going? What are some of the possibilities for the ending of this movie? Relating only to what we see, not only makes a wrong judgement, but it narrows our own outlook on life. The wiser we become, the lonelier we get. Real wisdom resides in the wonder of every meeting.
Yesterday a young man invited me over to sit with him on the footpath. He is a sensitive, gentle but tortured soul who battles the bottle every day. We talked about the awesome burden and joy of being parents and others nearby soon joined the conversation. From the outside of our circle we must have made for quite a sight on the famous Kings Cross strip, somewhat huddled together, but still at safe distance, looking like we were carefully negotiating a street deal. However, the only thing being exchanged between us was hope and worry. We each became equally vulnerable to each other. The joy and gift of a conversation free of experts is a rare thing. There is a comforting phrase I use sometimes when conducting a service, “Where two or three gathered in My Name there I am in the midst”. The “name” is Love, and it is born where vulnerability finds a safe harbour. Such moments cannot be manufactured and each of us walked away with nothing fixed, even though somehow the world had changed. It’s presence that is life-changing, yet it can never be measured. I couldn’t think of a better place to mark my 2nd anniversary in this role than in that gutter with those friends.
Thanks for being part of our Inner Circle,
PS. Last week I mentioned that we had three Community Service Announcements currently airing on SBS Television that feature the unique voices and beauty of our visitors. Here’s the second one featuring Lani, who has been visiting Wayside for over 40 years.
Pastor & CEO