Weddings, Parties and Anything?

Dear Inner Circle,

Just like green shoots that emerge through the cracks in the footpath, love finds a way of emerging even in the most trying of circumstances…perhaps even because of them. A wedding was celebrated this week between two young lovers who have been together many years. This was their third attempt to hold the ceremony after cancellations, so the trip down the aisle was a lot longer than the thirty or so metres on the day. I get a little kick out of watching the groom’s response as the bride walks down the aisle. As she entered he choked up and was speechless. I had to break down the vows into smaller than bite sized pieces such was the state of awe he was in before the presence of her beauty. They exchanged vows and she spoke of how the obstacles that had prevented this day only served to make them stronger as a couple. Few know the full story of the challenges that have faced them, but love found a way. I pray that he permanently loses the power of speech in her presence. Their union is a gentle reminder of a divinity that still exists in an all too often cynical world.

The next day a different group gathered to bid farewell to a good man who had lived to a nice age, one of his final memories was celebrating Christmas surrounded by family. How lovely to be able to be a part of a funeral where there is no sense of tragedy and see family and friends gather together in a spirit of gratitude and celebration. It is something of an honour to conduct a ceremony for a life that hasn’t been cut short. The sadness we feel at the loss of a life that ends too soon is just as great sometimes as the search for family that comes up empty. No wonder so many drift into the city seeking love and acceptance at any cost. Is there anything worse than the feeling of being unloved or unwanted? Just handing out a cup of tea with a smile and stopping for a chat can be a lifeline. We stand every day at the ready for another year where we lift people up or try and catch people from falling too far.

Finally this week I was accosted by our cafe supervisor, a wonderful woman who devotes her life to feeding the masses. She was in the empty chapel and noticed something was lodged under the wooden altar right below our “Screaming Jesus”. Further investigation revealed it to be a discarded pregnancy test…and it was positive. What an alarming revelation of the immaculate kind!

No two weeks are ever the same here, and we love it that way.

Thanks for being part of that Inner Circle of love,


Jon Owen
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

PS. This Valentine’s Day, we ask that you to forgo meaningless gifts and instead, make a donation so we can continue to make sure people experiencing homelessness and isolation receive the dignity they deserve – access to life’s basic necessities including fresh undies. Please share the love and make a donation today.


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