Dear Inner Circle,
Sometimes the impossible confronts my eyes, defying me to explain it or daring me to be arrogant enough to explain it away. It’s not easy to stand before the impossible, baffled and in awe. A man came into my office just now to offer me a slice of apple cake. Perhaps this doesn’t sound like a moment that could arrest the progress of time, but it was. The man was wearing a long apron and a white beret. This fellow is our baker. He’s learning his craft with the help of some of our fabulous staff and he’s thriving as he discovers himself doing well. I said, “I can’t begin to tell you how inspired I am to receive this cake.” “Well,” he said, “You say often on Sunday that, ‘God says you’re ok’ and no one has ever told me that I’m ok.” This fellow spent many years living on the street and perhaps in the order of twenty years fighting an addiction to heroin. We’ve shared the ups and downs of what is a daily struggle and broken our hearts as his story is revealed. It’s a story of an intelligent man who never had much but lost everyone and everything in life. Too humble to fight for a place in the world and too sensitive to blame his losses on others, he lived the life of a hermit, his only shelter and only comfort to be found in drugs. What I just saw was a man engaged; engaged with this community, engaged with life and moving on a path to health. Awesome, bewildering, impossible but real.
Here is an offer you’ll get from nowhere but Wayside! A lovely bloke involved in our program for people living with long-term mental health issues, is putting on his own exhibition. Pee Wee is a treasured part of this community and he’s always had a thing about pillows. He makes them and carries a collection wherever he may be. We are holding a “Pillow Exhibition” at Wayside Monday 8 August from 5pm to 7pm. There will be no pillows for sale and we won’t be asking anyone to part with any money for any reason. We want to honour Pee Wee because we love him. Call in if you have some minutes to spare and to catch the love of pillows perhaps, but especially, our love for Pee Wee. There is every chance that Pee Wee himself will sing a song or recite some poetry. We promise no dignitaries, no celebrities, no lectures, no fuss. It will be a night when we honour a good man. We promise no value for money; we promise nothing that might lead to excitement or inner peace; we promise only that you might remember that a city is judged by how it treats its poorest, and character is revealed in generous acts that cannot yield any return. It will be fun and very Wayside.
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