One of the real joys of being part of the Salvation Army’s mission is getting to know and communing with people that I should—by rights—have nothing in common with. When someone sits down with me and entrusts me with their story, it truly is an honour. It is humbling.
This week, we have the privilege of sharing Mark’s story (p. 6). Mark never had a chance, really. He was plied with alcohol as a child. He was put to work when he was 12. By the time he was in his teens, he was the archetypal hardened criminal. Yet as Mark shared his story with me, his voice was soft and his face full of warmth. We shared a hug at the end.
We should have nothing in common, but we are brothers and sisters in Christ. And that means we have everything in common.
Mark is great in the Kingdom of God because he was given very little, and with that he is doing much. For people like me, making good life choices is nothing more than going-with-the-flow of what my parents taught me.
But for someone like Mark, it means choosing to walk a path he was never taught. While in theory we all have choices, it is much harder to make a choice that you don’t know exists.
Mark turned his back on crime. He attended the Bridge programme and has been sober for two-and-a-half years. He has a seat at God’s table. Sadly, Mark is suffering from liver failure, but his story is far from over. Please join me in praying for him.
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others …’
Nā ka titiro ake ia, ka kite i te hunga taonga, e maka ana i ā rātou moni hoatu noa ki te takotoranga moni. Ā ka kite ia i tētahi pouaru rawakore, e maka ana i ngā moni nohinohi rawa e rua ki reira. Nā ka mea ia, ‘He pono tāku e mea nei ki a koutou, nui kē tā tenei pouaru rawakore i maka ai i a rātou katoa … ’