Yesterday as I was driving across town from one appointment to another, busy as a bee, the Inner Circle came across the airwaves of my car radio. For a few short minutes I was transfixed by the quietly spoken message of Rev. Graham Long, Pastor and CEO of The Wayside Chapel in Sydney’s Kings Cross. There’s something special about Graham’s weekly message that always stirs my soul: this is a man who leads from the heart. To use the words of my friend and resilience expert Noelene Dawes, Graham “goes gently” in sharing his message and I think that’s why I so enjoy listening to his message.
This week Graham spoke of Wayside’s wonderful patron Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir, Governor of New South Wales and her tireless community work, including her support of Wayside Chapel. Her Excellency described Wayside as a jewel in Sydney’s crown because, as she explained, “a city should be judged on how it treats its poorest citizens and for that reason Wayside is a precious possession of the city”. Never a truer word was spoken and this is quintessentially Her Exellency our Governor, a woman who grew up in country Australia and became one of Australia’s most regarded medical clinicians in the field of psychiatry, before going on to hold many community leadership roles. She will formally retire from the position of Governor of NSW at the end of this month, and she will surely be missed.
Yesterday Graham’s message also touched on the power of hope, and of never giving up. Wayside Chapel provides unconditional love, care and support for people on and around the streets of Kings Cross and Graham is often accused of throwing good resources after bad, at people who seem to be beyond help. His simple message that “for every person we can keep alive, there is always hope” is one I think we should all draw inspiration from, next time we’re tempted to throw in the towel.
If you have a quiet moment at your desk, or on the bus today, you might like to listen to the podcast and take a moment to reflect on your own attitudes, emotions and expectations of life.
It’s just a thought…