Dear Inner Circle,

“Would it be corrupt if I gave one of your staff a present?” It’s a funny opening line to a conversation, but just now I spoke with a big tall man whose face beamed like he was four years old and just found out that it was Christmas morning. He explained to me that our Pathways Officer, Mandy, has patiently walked alongside him for some time now and as a result, he starts a full-time paying job next week. He will be a traffic controller and he’s on top of the world because it’s a job he feels confident to do and he loves to think he could do something that will assist to keep the traveling public safe. I’ll bet anything that just one look into this beaming face is all the thanks Mandy would ever need, and I was delighted this morning to bask in her reflected glory.

Another beautiful face that captured me this week belonged to a long-time member of this inner circle. Listening to this voice and beholding this spirit, delivered in the accent and colloquial of her original culture, held me spellbound and eventually left me with something I couldn’t name. I guess the something was, presence. She described one moment of growth by saying, “I didn’t even know I was in a birth canal but nevertheless, I got pushed out of a comfortable darkness into an unknown, impossibly difficult and challenging space that was, ‘life’”. At one stage this person said of me that, “I was the pea on the end of a fork.” I have not the remotest idea what that expression might mean but I hope it’s good. Like all moments of revelation, I wished it could have lasted longer. Thankfully, I learned years ago that the more you try to hang onto such beauty, the quicker it evaporates.

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