Dear Inner Circle,
Here is a cracker of a story. We are surrounded by angels. Some of our supporters set aside money so that they can jump in when the circumstances are extraordinary and when the need is way beyond anything Wayside could do. Years ago, one of these angels told me he would be willing to pay the rent on a flat for a year if I knew someone for whom it would make all the difference. A man who had lived on the street and in the grip of alcoholism was showing the early signs of transformation. He’d stopped asking, “What can you give me?” and started to ask, “How can I help?”. It’s always a sure sign of a miracle on its way. Our dear angel paid a year’s rent and that man is free today of his alcoholism and flourishing in a job that he loves. Amazing? Absolutely! This week that same angel did the same thing for another fellow who I judged to be a good bet. This morning I looked into the face of a man whose physical features had changed overnight because he’d slept in his own bed in his own place. He was in today seeking help to enroll in a course that has a good chance of seeing him into employment. The transformation has begun not just because of a physical room to call his own, but because someone believed in him and was prepared to back him in this way. Amazing? Totally!
“My cup runneth over” is a phrase our past Governor used to say to me regularly. If you’ve ever met Dame Marie Bashir, you’ve had a brush with grace. Every time I see Dame Marie, she expresses her gratitude and awe for something or someone. I was in our lift once with Dame Marie and an Aboriginal women got in with us. Dame Marie said, “Every time I meet a woman such as you, I just want to say, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’” Well my cup runneth over too. Today I spoke with a high profile person who regularly does a shift on our front desk. He’s the last person in this city you’d expect to see taking people for showers or finding changes of socks or doing battle with our telephones. It’s hilarious that no one around here seems to know who he is and for many homeless people, he’s just “Fred on the front desk”. I’d love to tell you his identity but he’d be cross with me. I’d also love to tell you who the angel was from my first paragraph, but he’d be even more cross with me. I happen to know that business is not fabulous for that angel and he’s not one of this city’s uber rich anyway. His gift comes because his desire to do good, and to make the world a better place, actually trumps his own personal comfort. We’re surrounded by angels and that’s why my cup runneth over.
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