A strange day indeed

It was a Salvation Army Church in Melbourne Australia. Part of the drug and alcohol program I was part of and it involved a ‘compulsory church service attendance’ during the first few weeks. The idea was apparently to attempt some soul healing on us bewildered assorted human scraps the wind blew in, with the good words and wonderful community spirit found here at this particular church. I was never a ‘Christian’ or religious or churchy type person but I’m telling you I loved this and soaked up the word of the lord and those friendly welcoming authentic people like a dry sponge. It was nourishing my soul. It was a ‘mild’ kind of church I would call it that sat well with my sensibilities, they seemed down to earth and the sermons questioned and enquired almost philosophically. I had come to a point in life where I had lost all meaning. I was finding it again here. Then on about the third Sunday half way though the sermon I just started breaking down and sobbing uncontrollably. It was a largish church and there would have been maybe a hundred people or more. I was aware of my own spectacle in front of these good people and my own embarrassment but had no control. The minister came and sat beside me and ask me if he could pray for me and proceeded speaking words of god and holding my arm as the congregation must have fixated by now on this man from the rehab crew at the nearby centre. After this shaking and sobbing and praying spectacle I sat quite stunned and immobile for minutes. Then my recollection is of hearing many others sobbing and speaking in hushed tones but reverential not derisive of an unruly unkempt interloper. I had moved most to tears in an emotional and divine moment of spiritual mystery right here in their church. I didn’t plan this. I felt like some strange fish but I only received handshakes and honoured gentlemen and their wives queuing now to introduce themselves and wish me well and tell me what a ‘special moment’ just occurred. I was something of a celebrity that Sunday morning of September 2015. It was I later realised, my own very public and very real spiritual awakening. After this things just got stranger and stranger. I was told by an educated knowledgeable spiritual woman that there ‘is something very special about you Mark…” in a very mysterious curious way that only left me wondering. Still does. But the sequence of events that subsequently unfolded over the next days and weeks is the stuff of another story for another day. Long story short, I am here speaking to you and I know my mission and I am altered deeply and profoundly since that day. Exactly how I came to be in rehab on a mountain and the months that led there is the first book.

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