The end of the year is approaching quickly so all roads around here now lead to preparations for our Christmas Day Street Party. In five short days there will once again be an outpouring of generosity and love on Hughes Street in Potts Point on an unprecedented scale. Yet again it will only be there for those who have the eyes to see it. Sadly some will only hear music that is too loud and their food will not be as good as the person they are sitting next to. Comparison is often the thief of joy and the sign of a heart backed into a corner and can affect us all.
For others though, they will have their souls stirred by the “awesome” that lies at the centre of this day. The party will invite their hearts back out into the world of love and celebration. Acts of kindness, both big and small, contain within them the power to reach into even the most damaged of hearts. One young woman shared recently of how she was forced by her handler to work the streets on Christmas Day, so she toughened herself up for the task. She was holding it together well until three old ladies approached her, gave her huge hugs and a wrapped-up block of chocolate. “Merry Christmas, darling” they wished her as they hobbled off. This gesture broke her open and gave her hope that her future could be different from the one her pimp kept beating into her.
Between now and Christmas Day we have a few funerals and weddings because life and death do not take a break. As I married a beautifully nervous couple yesterday, I asked the adoring groom to express his love by sharing the reason he wanted to marry her. He sputtered, “Last week was my birthday, yesterday it was hers and next week I have court, so the timing is pretty perfect.” I was hoping for an outpouring of love, but that would have to do.
We aren’t a homeless charity – our mission is about creating a community where all are welcome and no one is an outsider. It’s a community we all need. Last week I was tracked down by someone who asked if they could come along on Christmas Day to help out. When I asked why Wayside, the quiet response broke my heart, “This is the first year since my divorce and that I won’t be with my kids at Christmas, so I need this”. Please come and join us at our Christmas Day Street Party, EVERY ONE of you is welcome. Around here we believe in the kind of abundance that means we like to build bigger tables, rather than higher walls.
There is less than a week left for us to reach the goal for our Christmas Appeal and start the new year with confidence. Any help you can give is greatly appreciated. Please donate here.
Wayside is open 365 days a year and will continue providing support to those who need it most, but I will give this note a rest for a few weeks over the Christmas / New Year period. I’ll take Lisa and the girls away for a few of those weeks and I’ll be refreshed and back in your inbox in late January.
Have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year, and thanks for being part of the Inner Circle.
Pastor & CEO