Where Love and Sadness Collide

Dear Inner Circle,  

Much has been done, and there is still much to do. It isn’t our job to finish all the tasks of healing the world, but neither should we cease from attempting to make our contribution. Our efforts form one link in a great chain of being that connects the past with our shared future as humanity.  

The natural ebb and flow of life are marked by its ups and downs, and the impulse to resist the dip is the impulse of an addict. We all exist on a wave, but this is the time of year where the amplitude gets cranked up. Walking into the building yesterday it was impossible to not feel the buzz. On the front decking, the Wayside street choir, in a complete break with tradition, decided to actually rehearse before Christmas Day, and their smiles lit up the street. As they sang, about 800 old-fashioned Christmas puddings arrived, made through the unceasing work of our wonderful pudding elves, which number around 30 angels, who no doubt dream of pudding, having started the cooking way back in August. 

The cafe was abuzz with Christmas natter, and I witnessed a few cards being exchanged between friends over breakfast. Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone who I know has nothing to her name affectionally give her last coins to pay for a friend’s meal. Beyond this scene in the chapel there were 10 people waiting patiently and reverently to sign the memorial book for Aunty Rosie, the Queen of the Cross, whose death last Saturday has left us all in a state of shock and disbelief.  

Wayside exists at the intersection of love over hate, it is a place where love and sadness collide and yesterday you could feel deeply the space where the agony and the ecstasy clashed. To live in this place is to allow the waves to crash over us, and to learn how to hold open the heart space so that the joy and pain can both exist within us. 

Our dear Aunty Rosie was a whisperer of stories and a holder of dreams. We all have a Rosie story, and she held a special connection with us all. I cannot tell you how many people, when we speak of her, stop, and say, “Oh, you mean, my Rosie, don’t you?” We want to keep those memories alive, so please consider sharing your thoughts on our public tribute page. In the meantime, let me share with you one of ‘my Rosie’ stories. In my first days here at Wayside, long before I became CEO, Rosie informed me that she had a dream to share. We sat crouched outside the entrance to the train station, (oh, I just can’t imagine her not being there, as I’m sure some of you can’t imagine her not being outside Woolies, or wherever she met you) where she told me she dreamt that Graham Long was soon to be flying away and I was emerging from a cocoon, ready to spread my wings, “Know what that means Jon?” She gave one of her beautiful smiles, and we exchanged a hug, a knowing look, and a “pineapple”.  

She goes now to join her ancestors and to be reunited with her children who went there before her. There is no longer any pain or struggle for her. We are all the better for having known her and our hearts together break at her passing.  

Thank you for being part of our precious Inner Circle.

Rev. Jon Owen
CEO & Pastor
Wayside Chapel

P.S My deepest thanks to the Inner Circle who have supported Wayside this Christmas, your generosity leaves me speechless. As you know, our work doesn’t stop when the tinsel comes down and it’s with your kindness that we can keep our doors open every day of the year. Please continue giving so we can be there to provide unconditional love and support to everyone who needs it. Donate here.

Subscribe to Inner Circle, Wayside’s Weekly letter to our community, at the button below to have it delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday. 

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