Stories of Us: Joe
Joe is a lawyer who was raised in a Catholic family. He wandered from ‘all things religious’ in his mid-teens. But when Joe’s older sister became a Christian, he could not ignore the changes in her forever. He recalls, “When my sister became a Christian she started talking to me about her faith, saying it was one of the best things that had happened to her.” But Joe was preoccupied and busy completing his university degree. He put off thinking further on such things for many years.
Toward the end of his six-year degree, Joe again began considering the message of Christ and took to reading The Reason for God by Timothy Keller. Although he was enjoying the book, it wasn’t until he met Mark at a City Bible Forum young worker’s event that things started to change. Joe’s sister had invited him along, and he had finally agreed.
Mark offered to meet with Joe one to one to work through the Keller book and discuss any questions that arose from it. “At first I thought it was just another one of those Christian things,” Joe admitted. “You know - where they try to evangelise you.” But he quickly came to realise that Mark had good intentions, had no ulterior motive and wanted to help him wrestle through some of his big questions. Questions about injustice, and questions about the extent of human suffering that he was tossing around. Joe was disillusioned by the hypocritical Christians he’d encountered in the past and wanted to untangle this.
“I don’t believe things just because people say so. I actually question a lot,” he says. Having the opportunity to meet with someone who had the same educational background as him was extremely helpful to Joe. “I think that’s why I really connected with Mark,” he observed. “I had tried to work through these questions with a church pastor but I just connected better with Mark and he helped me on my journey to continue exploring.”
Mark introduced Joe and his (now) wife Marie to a local church where they are at home, growing in their faith, meeting in a small group and actively serving. Joe is busying himself seeking to connect another like-minded friend to our city staff team so that he might have a similar opportunity for mentoring toward faith.