I met Jesus today, only this time his name was Mark.

December 10, 2009

Mark and I actually met a couple days ago, but he dropped into 24-7 tonight and joined us for The Kiln. Mark is one of those amazing people that just catch you off guard–in a good way. He’s friendly and excited and talkative. He disarms you with his genuine joy. But he’s also honest about himself to the point of awkwardness–again, in a good way. He’ll tell you his life story in a heartbeat, and he did. He doesn’t do it to make himself the center of attention, though. He doesn’t want anyone’s sympathy or a pat on the back. He tells his story to bring glory to God. His messy and complicated past, present, and future are all a tribute to the One who saved him.

During our conversation tonight, Mark was telling us of the progress he’s made in the past couple of years. He’s had victories over personal demons that would make anyone want to cheer for him, but instead he told us, “I’m proud of God.” He’s not proud of himself for the changes in his life; He’s proud of God for being his Life-Changer.

Then, when we were closing in prayer, Mark said, “God, I can’t think of anything to ask you for. You’ve given me everything I need. But if I were to ask you for one thing, it would be for you to give _____ peace.” I found myself quietly crying, thanking God over and over again for Mark. What a beautiful thing: to be so forgiven and grateful and joyous that you can’t think of anything to ask for except that someone else would have their needs met.

Mark may not be perfect–and I guarantee you that he would tell you as much–but in his immense love and thankfulness for Jesus, he was Jesus to us tonight. There is something so “heartachingly” wonderful about the redeemed and the way they emanate the light and love of their Redeemer. We should all want to be a little more like Mark–shockingly real, contagiously joyous, and models of the Jesus who saved us.

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