What would love do?

Dear Inner Circle,  

The concept of “love” is a strange thing. Some confuse it for a feeling, and lurch from person to person, doing all they can to avoid losing “that loving feeling,” in an exhausting and destructive game. Some are lucky enough to stumble and fall, only to realise that the place they have fallen is the place they find pure gold. The truth is that love is an action and summons us in many forms to lives of deeper and deeper response-ability.  

When I first met Lisa, she was living in a tiny 2-bedroom flat in outer Melbourne that was always full of chaos and laughter and joy. She shared her place with neighbours who needed shelter and a break from their lives, while they worked out what steps to take next. Many of these women were living under the constant and exhausting threat of family violence and needed the space to breathe. Love invited Lisa to provide shelter and safety, never lecturing any of them, often taking them back in, after hopeful returns led to another set of broken promises. For her, love was a commitment to ushering in a better world.  

So often on this journey when we find ourselves in situations where the path forward is anything but clear, I recall the wisdom of a mentor from seminary who advised me to first ask the question, “What would love do?” and once you have worked that out, “Stop thinking and go do it.” It has never failed yet.  

I see the answer to that question being lived out every day in our centres in Bondi Beach and Kings Cross. I see it when one of our frontline workers warmly embraces a man who has worn the same clothes for a week and kindly hands him a new set of socks and underwear. It’s in the quiet delight of a woman, enjoying a cuppa on the deck after a hot shower, and it’s in the volunteers who turn up week after week, to be an anchor point of kindness in a sea of chaos that some of our beautiful people are drowning in.  

And the answer is in you, so many of you, who are feeling the pinch, yet continue to give, knowing that there are people in our community who are lonely and in desperate need of connection. 

This week I encourage you to ask, “what would love do?” If the answer strikes you in the heart, please give to our Valentine’ Day campaign, so we can give care and practical support to people who need it most. Because nothing says “I love you” like a clean pair of undies. 

Thank you for being part of our Inner Circle.


Rev Jon Owen
CEO and Pastor
Wayside Chapel

P.S We have many new members of the Inner Circle, so I’d like to introduce Lisa, the love of my life for over 20 years. Lisa, if Richard Mercer’s Love Song Dedications still existed, this Valentine’s Day I’d be calling in Touch, by Steve Balbi just for you ❤️

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