Staying Awake

Dear Inner Circle,

The daily train commute to and from Kings Cross provides a fascinating snapshot into the quirks of “train culture”. The trips are sometimes uncomfortable, and more often than not the carriage is packed with an anxious, edgy energy, and sadly it’s almost always pretty lonely. There is a powerful pull to demonstrate compliance through silence, which can also come as a relief after a long hard day. So, it was with a little disappointment that on one such day I slumped into my seat for another quiet ride home when all of a sudden I felt a sharp pain in my arm. “Thwack!” The face of my assailant was full of life, his beautiful smile lighting up the carriage. Even as my arm throbbed I couldn’t help but return his infectious grin. “Jonny! Check me out man!”

Before me sat someone who, just a few years ago, had us all deeply worried. His life was spiralling out of control at such a speed that I was almost certain I would be conducting his funeral. Yet a breathtaking miracle sat before me, life had grabbed a hold of him and wasn’t letting him go! He proclaimed aloud how long he had been clean for and how much he loves work. The stern glances our “unsocial” interaction was eliciting were soon melted as his sheer joy changed the atmosphere. Some people are like thermometers, they can gauge the mood of the room, others, like my friend, are natural-born thermostats, warming up everyone around them. We willfully broke social conventions together and talked and laughed the whole ride home together. By coincidence he got off at the same station as me. Then as we walked up the platform he put his arm around my shoulder, we looked like quite an odd pair, but neither of us cared about anything except each other. Did I mention that I have the best job in the world? Bruised arm and all.

The most precious moments are often the most fleeting. Outside the chapel the other day an elderly father, now in the final months of his life, sat with his son. He was a kid of the Cross and now his grown-up son is taking him around to the places of his childhood so that he can remember. He grabbed a guitar and he strummed a beautiful melody, then passed it to his dad, the years and the dementia melting away as he belted out a ripping blues tune. One of our beautiful regulars noticed this precious moment and it filled her heart with joy as she silently sang along.

Life is full of moments worth capturing, being awake to them is well worth it,

Thanks for being part of our precious Inner Circle.


Jon Owen

Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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