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“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.

Desmond Tutu

 A picture tells a thousand words.

This week a couple of pictures appeared on the front of papers, and immediately we all knew the words that should accompany that picture. All of us apart from the man in the pictures, who tried to defend them, make a case for them being ok, to justify, explain and minimise them.

Rubbish.

How about some of us men started to paint a different picture?

How about we started to stand up loud and proud and declare that to be a man is to be strong enough to restrain our own strength. To be a real man means to protect rather than attack, to serve rather than to scare, to honour rather than to harm.

There are many things about Jesus that I love and which inspire me. One of them is that all people, especially the hurt, broken, attacked and abused felt comfortable in his presence. They were not scared and they did not feel threat from him. All this while at the same time as coming to him precisely because they recognised an incredible and mysterious strength in him.
That is what I hope to be true of St Mark’s. That those who have had the hope and life battered out of them will discover safety, restoration, trust, empowerment, love and encouragement amongst us.

We won’t pick the side of the oppressor, and we are not neutral. Abusing a woman is wrong. Abusing anyone is wrong.

Inspired by a sense of justice that flows from God, St Mark’s is a proud supporter of MK-ACT and the “Let’s Talk” campaigns. You should get behind them too.

If you need to talk about the way someone treats you, call MK-ACT now on 0844 375 4307

If you are a man who needs to change, start today, commit to doing life differently, then pitch up at St Mark’s sometime soon and get prayed for.

Everyone else, let’s start painting a new picture; a picture of strength and justice.