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Thursday, October 17, 2013

From the Wayside Chapel by Graham Long

Dear Inner Circle,

As our plane just lifted off the tarmac in Sydney a little girl seated right behind me said, "Oh wow, Dad! I can see the whole world!" Sacred moments come to us every day and many, if not most of them, are either not seen or simply overlooked as unimportant. This little girl's sense of wonder changed the dreadfully mundane business of flying into a moment filled with wonder. The confidence of the little girl in her father was contagious. "How fast are we going now?" "How far above the clouds are we?" The barrage of questions had me straining to hear the answers because I caught the little girl's sense of confidence in her father. He knew everything. When the wheels touched the ground in Adelaide, the little girl said, "That was the funnest thing ever!"

If we allow ourselves to be addressed in sacred moments, we are transformed. I not only felt the excitement of the little girl but I remembered when I had a 4 year old girl of my own who would confidently jump into anything assuming that I knew everything and would protect her. Sacred moments change history. At my brother's recent wedding, his three fine, grown up sons stood at his side. They were a holy trinity of best men. These boys knew as well as anyone the bumpy history of their farther and the many painful failures of the past. Yet in this sacred moment they stood with their father. The facts of history had not changed but the way we looked at those facts had changed completely. In the light of this sacred moment, past hurts had become lessons, and even a means of grace that added to the wisdom and depth of the moment. The deeper the past hurts, the greater the grace.

Sacred moments, when they come, transform the future. The future, when considered in the light of the everyday, can be summarised by the word 'fate'; a kind of projection based on the past. In a sacred moment, that which we knew as fate crumbles and dissipates and, in its place, 'destiny' is revealed. My little brother has joined hands with a good woman. They are not kids; they're in their fifties but they are literally working toward a future that nobody anticipated and toward a destiny that nobody had dreamt about just a short time ago.

I'm glad to be back home and back by the Wayside. When I said good bye to my dear old Mum, we recited together Psalm 23. It's funny that she can't remember anything from the last 10 years or the last 10 minutes but she recited the Psalm perfectly. Somehow, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me" seemed more powerful than ever coming from the mouth of this dear lady.

With love and thanks for being part of our inner circle,

Rev Graham Long
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross

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