A man who has spent most of his life without a roof over his head, stopped me as I walked into the building this morning. He had learned that one of our people had a child on the other side of the world who was ill and whose life may have been hanging in the balance, although the details were still sketchy. I don’t know how he’d learned of these circumstances, but I knew that the story was accurate. This rather shabbily dressed man pulled out a roll of money from his coat pocket and put it into my hand. “Tell her to go and be with her child,” he said. I had in my hand what must have been a couple of thousand dollars. I know the man has no alcohol or drug problems yet he would travel the full length of Sydney for a free meal. He should have a PhD in how to live without spending money. This is not the first time I’ve seen the heart of this fellow revealed in breathtaking generosity. He clearly is happy to clear out all his savings for the sake of helping another. He explained that he’d never married and never had children and so the best he could do was to help someone else who had such responsibilities. Angels are among us and sometimes they are dressed poorly.
Sometimes a small request can be the beginning of a much larger journey. A couple of years ago we met a grandmother for the first time who had asked us to fill out a form requesting legal aid. This seemingly simple request soon revealed an issue of much larger proportions. After years of support and hope, as it turned out, her much-loved grandchild was considered to be unsafe. There had been years of anxiety and plenty of middle-of-the-night trips to pick-up this child when his mother had gone missing. The difficult decision was finally made to take the child into his grandmother’s home and out of his mother’s care. I can’t imagine a more heartbreaking and yet ultimately brave choice than this. This wasn’t a straightforward task. There were times when the struggle nearly overwhelmed this grandmother. I am so proud of the way our people at Wayside walked alongside her for well over two years until the moral certainty of a final decision was made.

A little dog has been the object of concern and affection around our neighbourhood lately. Someone assured us that the adorable little dog was being “babysat” while her owner was doing some time in gaol. Everyone had grown completely attached to the puppy so when the “minder” disappeared everyone was concerned for the puppy. Just as we organised a new stable home for the little dog who had stolen our hearts, a stranger appeared at Wayside and informed us that we had custody of his stolen dog. We knew the truth of this story by the way the dog recognised and almost lost his legs through the joy of the reunion. The dog had been missing since Christmas and we’re quite sure that our Wayside person was the not the thief but rather he had rescued the dog for someone else – now in prison. I love how we put so much love into creatures of all kinds who visit us at Wayside – even lost little dogs.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle.

JonJon Owen
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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