Winding Up with Love

Dear Inner Circle,

As we reach the end of another year, I want to thank you for the pleasure of your company, as together we’ve shared time attending to all that unfolds by the Wayside.

While others are winding down, we are just winding up. This is the time of year when love looks a lot like a manic frenzy. If you stand out the front of our Community Service Centre in Kings Cross, you might be bowled over by a procession of people delivering gifts in preparation for our famous Christmas Day Street Party. If you are rolling into the end of the year filled with overwhelming despair at the state of the world, and I were pretending to be a doctor, I would prescribe for you an hour of sitting on our deck. There, you will witness a thousand acts of love, some huge, like the crew who delivered hundreds of handmade Christmas puddings, through to the small ones, like a volunteer searching amidst the mass of people to ensure someone receives a perfectly tempered cup of tea. (Seriously, what else but a memory of love makes us Aussies insist on hot cups of tea on 35-degree days?) You’d also observe the tender care of a partner supporting his girlfriend week after week, when she learnt of more news of great loss in her very short life. If you come here, yes, you will be in the company of a broken-hearted community but if you “have eyes to see”, you may just have your faith restored.

There’s a popular Christmas Carol that has an oft repeated line, “comfort and joy, comfort and joy.” Well, at Wayside, joy abounds but I see very little comfort; in fact, comfort is far more the thief of joy than its source. If you’re in need of good company and a great laugh with others during the Christmas break, come on down to the best comedy club in Sydney.

This note, much to my amazement, continues to grow in its readership. It has been an experiment in delivering a drip feed of little stories of humanity at its best. These are whispered into a series of larger stories that are about our world at its worst. Yet I believe in a future shaped by the small, conspiring acts of love that together generate an outpouring of justice and compassion. Thank you for your being the change we need to see, for your company and your constant generosity that helps keep our doors wide open all year round.

You amaze and humble me every day,


Rev. Jon Owen
CEO & Pastor
Wayside Chapel

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