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Lost with You

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Dear Inner Circle,

Should we be surprised to discover that we are a society struggling with loneliness?” asks Hugh Mackay in his book ‘The Kindness Revolution’. He observes that those of us who live in “western societies” are suffering from a self-inflicted wound, having somehow permitted a culture of radical individualism to reign. This allows us to believe that self-actualisation is the greatest accomplishment, not realising that the price we have paid is increasing social fragmentation which leaves loneliness as the inevitable consequence.

There is good news; disconnection is not our destiny, and the antidote is as close to us as the ground is to our feet and as our sleeves are to our hands. Wayside Chapel’s mission of creating community with no ‘us and them’, has shown us that a way to healing is through the pathway of service to others, an age old yet undervalued tactic in our glib age of consumption as a cure. Last weekend you could feel the energy in the room as over 50 people gathered for a volunteer induction. They were from all walks of life yet they held a common purpose – to give their time in the knowledge that somehow their liberation is tied up with the fate of all those who find themselves by the wayside.

I was called to the house of a dear friend recently who keeps sabotaging all forward progress in his life. Fuelled by self-hatred, he is trapped in the destructiveness of the abuse he suffered as a child. As another eviction was looming, he called out in desperation for help, so together we tried to clean up his trashed apartment. This was an act of rescue that over the years, many of our people have assisted him with. After a while we were exhausted in the humidity and drenched in sweat so we collapsed on the floor and shared a cup of tea together. “Thanks bro, what I can’t get is why you all at Wayside still love me even though I make the same mistakes over and over again! You all love me at my worst, why?” I had a thousand answers, but let the silence settle. When we say we would rather be lost with you than saved without you, we live out the response.

Thank you for helping us love some of the most beautiful people at their worst moments so they are not alone. We never give up hope that tomorrow may be the day that the sun breaks through. I wish I had a magic wand, but what we do have are our hands and hearts.

Thanks for being part of our Inner Circle,

Jon

Rev. Jon Owen
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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