Dear Inner Circle,
There are few places where you can lament birthdays that won’t be celebrated, school assemblies that won’t be attended, weddings that didn’t happen and grandchildren that will never be born. The ache in a parent who loses a child remains forever. By the time you’re reading this today, I will be with some people who will make a public park a hallowed place. Time doesn’t heal all wounds and really some wounds ought not to heal. I never want to live as if I’d never lost a precious son and nor do I want to be a wet blanket for anyone else’s journey. Precious and few are the moments when such a deep pain can become familiar and even a friend. This morning I will lead such a ceremony. Tomorrow night, I will lead a similar ceremony in a Catholic cathedral that will be packed with parents who’ve lost their children. What a painful honour and agonising joy to share life in such fullness with others.
“Despite the challenges faced daily, or perhaps because of them, I love my life. I love my little home, it’s not much but I’m comfortable. My leather couch that most nights I fall asleep on, my 42-inch tv that switches itself off because I’ve dropped off to sleep. I especially love my job and the challenges it brings. I love the relationships I have with people today. There are people who I trust all around. One of my colleagues who I am extremely fond of told me they love me today. I love being alive. I love knowing that once upon a time I didn’t know how I could get through the next 24 hours without self-harming. Now I have such a fabulous community around me of people that can be relied upon, people that can rely on me to be of real help if need be. Another person told me today they named their child after me nine years ago. Nine years ago, I was the nice bloke who lived next door to a struggling couple who were about to have a baby. I feel honoured by this. I love that it is natural to be up and down, ebb and flow, close and detached. I realise that while I may not have money I am extremely rich in love and friendships. Those of you out there who listen to me, who allow me to be, however I happen to be. Thanks for being my wealth.”
Now that my friends, is awesome.Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Rev Graham Long
Pastor & CEO