We pride ourselves on being the place where our doors are always open, but this month we prefer to keep them closed. This is so we can crank up the heat inside to provide a warm and welcoming space for everyone to relax and enjoy the pleasure of companionship. What strikes me as I sit in our cafe is the depth and richness of presence that is shared through conversation and it is no coincidence that these conversations are marked by the absence of phones. Discussions lurch around like a ride on a roller coaster, swinging wildly between outpourings of grief, laughter, and joy, all within a second of each other and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Love takes time, which is the new idol of our day. Ram Dass once observed that we tend to fixate on that which we renounce. If we focus on the giver or the gift and not the recipient we will miss the small gifts that love offers. This applies as much to parents freezing on the sidelines of sports practice through to taking a moment to stop and chat to someone who needs our care. So often a tender moment shared over a hot cuppa can shine a light into a deep, dark hole. A young man sat shivering in a near-psychotic state the other morning, the voices in his head were preventing him from coming inside. I witnessed one of our angelic volunteers approach him with a sandwich, “Here darling, please eat this,” she whispered. He gripped the sandwich in both hands and slowly began to eat, the effect on his body was like seeing magic work. Another person sidled up to him and also whispered, “Remember, mate, this is the place where you are loved!” “Oh yeah, now I remember!” was all I heard as I saw a huge grin of relief take over his face.
Music is also back warming up the building again. Sneaking out late last night I was arrested by the beautiful harmonies of the Honeybees Choir who were practicing again in our hall. I couldn’t help but sneak back inside to listen a little longer and thank them for the gift that they are. What a calming effect it must have on some of our weary visitors approaching our building on a cold night as they hear melodies flowing through to their heart as a gift of gratitude that’s worth sharing.
Thanks for reflecting on the beauty in our world our precious Inner Circle with us.
PS. This winter help bring warmth to people sleeping rough by making a donation to our Winter Appeal. Donate here.
Pastor & CEO