With the lockdown extending and restrictions being placed on travel, we have received a series of messages from concerned folk who have lost contact with family members. Normally they would make a quick car trip to locate them but that isn’t possible right now. This week we have been acting as a re-connection agency of sorts. When people have nowhere else to go they come to Wayside Chapel. We strive to maintain connection through our outreach teams, and we are currently helping many people into temporary accommodation to keep them safe. At Wayside we often bridge the gap between lost and lonely, to the family that they left behind. You can hear the overwhelming relief as relatives re-connect. It isn’t always possible to live with family members who can be difficult however that does not detract from love and concern for them. We are currently doing all we can to help our visitors get access to vaccinations. As the new variant edges its way dangerously close to us, it’s hard not to sense that we are at an important moment in this pandemic and we thank you for your love and support through it all.
Whilst we know that remaining connected to community is so important right now, division seems to be the order of the day, when every piece of media demands that we pick a side and join the fight. There are a lot of ‘pseudo-communities’ popping up at the moment. It’s an easy retreat, to side with a cause that only seeks to be against. Oppositional energy that has no destination slowly erodes the heart. The path of love is beset by uncertainty on all sides, but at least it knows where it is headed. The best we can do right now is to acknowledge that each of us has their own unique journey, and empathy and compassion is the only way to exist outside of judgment. It isn’t survival of the fittest, but the quality of the connections we possess that will get us through, so in the middle of all the “take care of yourself” messages I always like to add, “and take care of others”.
When people connect, purpose is born and that is so important right now. It reminds me of a lovely story. A friendship of nearly 50 years was forged when two people shared a wish to make the world a kinder place. One of the friends makes us delicious Christmas Cakes every year for our Christmas Lunch celebrations at Wayside. She conducts a series of working bees in the months leading up to December and delivers love and the most delectable delights every year without fail. She tried to recruit her friend to help with the baking but was always met with the response that she wasn’t handy in the kitchen and would help Wayside in her own way. Sadly that same friend passed away recently, but she had kept her promise, leaving Wayside a gift in her Will. It made my heart fill with joy knowing that there are angels among us, who lead with kindness and compassion, to make sure our community continues to flourish.
Thanks for being part of our precious Inner Circle,
Pastor & CEO