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Thursday, September 29, 2011

From the Wayside Chapel by Graham Long

Dear Inner Circle,
Just when a day seems heavy going there often comes a bit of unintended humour 
to lift us and put everything into some kind of perspective. 
A lovely young fellow told me this week that he'd qualified as a barrister. 
A couple of questions made it clear that he'd learned to make coffee. 
Some members of our staff play games with people's names, 
especially the names of prominent people. Yesterday our Premier visited 
and just after he left, I walked into a room of giggling people who
were beside themselves because someone had pronounced his name incorrectly. 
I didn't hear the mispronunciation and I'm sure, neither did the Premier. 
Someone told me about an ecumenical service recently where the 
principal celebrant looked to the Salvation Army Officer and said,
"I'd like to ask Captain Praybody to pea for us."
On Sunday I had the honour of baptising a tiny Aboriginal baby with the
biggest mop of black hair. This little girl could melt the heart of anyone
with her big dishy eyes. One of the God parents was Mon (our Aboriginal Worker) 
and Rex (our Community Services Worker). I was so proud of our two workers
who stand so closely to the people that they could take the role of God parent.
In the cafe yesterday was a dear little blond-headed girl. 
I sat next to her hoping for a conversation and she said, 
"My Rex went that way." "Your Rex" I said, "I thought he was my Rex". 
She said, "He's my Rex and he's busy." I love it that Rex is such a mush ball 
that a 3 year old recognises him as "hers" and knows that she's safe in his company.
Actually, I think that little girl's grandma thinks Rex is pretty good too.
After church on Sunday a man asked if he could see me once I could find 
some time. Eventually, I was able to find my way back into the Chapel 
where he was waiting for me. As he told me of all kinds of pain, he 
struggled with a big ball of white stuff in his mouth. Grunting in this 
way is never a good experience for me. After a long time and to my 
relief the big ball of white stuff went down his neck. "Well," he said,
"that was 300 bupe (buprenorphine) tablets." This happened as I was already 
overdue for my next appointment and people were waiting at the door 
giving me the hurry up sign. All I could do was watch the man drop 
and call over John who administered CPR and called an ambulance. 
Many people who have overdosed over the years have regained 
consciousness looking into John's face. He's a Wayside angel. I know 
the man who did this quite well and I like him. He knows me well enough
to know that I don't fix anything. He knows that I could be with him to love
and respect him. I'm pretty sure I see more good in him than he sees in himself. 
I'm sure I'm a bit of a disappointment, as I am to most who get offered love
when all they want is lollies; nothing is as disappointing as presence 
when all you want is presents.
It's often quite a struggle for me to walk through our cafe on my way
out or in to Wayside. Yesterday was particularly difficult and several times
what ought to have been a 5 minute trip became a 40 minute trip.
Someone who saw this suggested that I get a taser. You can't say that people never come up with helpful suggestions. We have a suggestion box downstairs and 
I noticed today that one suggestion was, "Free champagne on arrival".
thanks for being part of our inner circle,

Rev Graham Long
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
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kept in the strictest confidence and is stored in a password secure database.
Levels of access to information are determined by an authorised employee's 
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is never sold or passed on in any way, shape or form to any other organisation 
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Please note Graham is a friend and distant relative through marriage.His father Harold
Long was my Minister who's preaching and teaching led me to accept Jesus as my Saviour.

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