Meeting in Tough Places

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Dear Inner Circle,

Since Professor Stephen Hawking died, I’ve reading his most famous book. I’m loving it because it’s a bit of a head spin. It has made me realise that my education in philosophy is so thorough that my foundational understanding of science is fundamentally inadequate. It’s both a shock and a good adventure to have to rethink fundamental things. It wouldn’t matter how vivid your imagination is; no idea, no scheme, no construction could be as fantastic as the real world.

Some weeks here are particularly tough. Three unexpected deaths of young people have caused some of us to struggle this week. Two of these were well connected to Wayside and one only known to me. Gosh, the pain of a Mum and Dad who’ve just lost their child or a sister who just lost her brother or a wife who just lost her husband! I’m not sure there is a shock more brutal than this. When these things happen there are staff here who love and care for those concerned and the sadness can be seen, heard and felt. Many of our staff have lost close family members to tragic events and in such times their own raw nerves wake up. The greatest task for me is to fight the urge to appear wise. There are no wise words and telling people it’s not their fault when they haven’t even heard their own self accusations fully, amounts to telling people not to feel what they feel. I stood on holy ground this week. I didn’t manage anything. If anyone expected me to fix anything, I was a monumental disappointment. One person asked me to pray and I prayed the psalm, “Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord…” Although I feel rather useless, I realise that sadness is an important, even beautiful human state and we can meet each other to some extent in such moments. As I’ve seen the tears of our staff, I’ve fallen in love with them and want to thank them for making this world not just loving but real, and really human.[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=”1136″ 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”]Heading home late last night from Wayside, I crossed paths with one of our most famous street dwellers. She was dressed up and looked beautiful. She told me that she’d just been to the movies and was keen to tell me all about the film. Someone ought to write the story of this woman’s life. Intelligent, cunning, cheeky, sensitive, well-read, beautiful and wise, she’s quite a package and an inspiration. A staff member told me that earlier in the week this dear woman gave him $50 to celebrate that fact he had been sober for 20 years. For those of you who are locals, most of you will know to whom I refer and I expect that we’d agree that she’s a treasure and a gift to the community of Kings Cross. She thanked me for listening to her story and kissed me on the cheek and I walked to my car, complete and more alive.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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