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Reflection – Value the One

In May 2018, we went on a family trip to the UK. The trip was about touring the places my mother grew up and went to school, visiting relatives, and witnessing the historic event of Harry and Meghan’s wedding (stay with me, ha!)

The streets around Windsor Castle in the days leading up to the wedding were absolutely buzzing. People everywhere, souvenir shops full to the brim, people camping out so they could get prime position to see the newlywed royals, flags flying and press from all over the world capturing the excitement and glamour of the event.

Two days after the wedding, I walked up to the local shops near Windsor Castle. No more people, no fanfare…quiet. As I walked past a building, I thought I heard a faint “excuse me”. I quickly dismissed it on my mission to find good coffee (almost an impossible mission in the UK) and kept walking. Let’s say, moments after my dismissal, I heard a stronger voice that went something like, “are you serious? You’re not going to stop”. This time it was a voice I recognised. See, God knows I’m not convinced by whispers, ha! So, when God gets my attention, he really makes sure he gets it!

I stopped, turned around and sure enough, there was a man, similar age to myself, who reluctantly was trying to get my attention. He then asked me if I could spare some money so he could get a safe place to stay for the night. I gave him my attention and asked what had been going on. This man went on to tell me how he had lost his job for not having a fixed address and talked to me for some time about his struggles. I was able to encourage him, pray for him and bless him for the night’s accommodation.

Now I can’t tell you that this man went on to turn his life around from where he was at, but what I can say with all confidence is that his story matters. He matters. In this situation, it didn’t take much for me to place value on this man and his story. In fact, it mostly just took me getting over being a little inconvenienced in my comfort at the time.

When I read the parable of the lost sheep, I often wonder what leaving the 99 to go after the lost one would have looked like. It could have meant leaving the other sheep for days, hiking mountains, fighting off prey, just so the one could be brought home.

Sometimes I think, surely It would be better just to count your losses and look after the remaining group of sheep.

I’ve been wondering and continually challenging myself to recognise those that might be lost.

There will always be ones in our communities.

This could be in our family, our work teams, the sporting clubs we (or our kids) play for, the shops we regularly visit, or the church we go to. Sometimes we could be the one, in seasons of life when we hope we don’t get lost or left behind.

I’d love to leave you with these thoughts as an encouragement to you and to myself. Who are the ones around us that may just need to know that they are valued? Will we, could we, go after them like the Shepherd in the parable? Think about some stories of your own or those you know of where the impact of one person has made a big difference.

If you’re feeling a little like the lost sheep in the parable right now, reach out, chat with someone, chat with me!? It’s okay to feel a little lost at times. You’re not alone.

I’ll finish with this quote from Perry Noble:

“Every number has a name; every name has a story, and Every Story matters to God.”


Dave Wu is the Executive Officer Chaplaincy Commission.

Dave and family supporting the Parramatta Eels

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