Sueanne lives on a pension, has a mild intellectual disability, a diagnosis of schizophrenia and has not had the easiest life - having been institutionalised as a young girl and being subjected to the most traumatic forms of abuse.
Sueanne offsets her isolation by attending the Rosebud Community Church - a Church open to those who may not feel they easily fit into the mainstream middle class church culture. Its ethos is to use each other’s strengths to meet each other’s needs, therefore benefitting the whole.
One night in the Community Church meeting a fellow attendee – Ian, was doing it tough, stating that he didn't have much food and was desperate for a coffee - not being able to afford groceries for a week.
Without hesitation Sueanne offered her jar of un-opened Moccona coffee later stating "I could have given him the cheap stuff but I really wanted him to have some enjoyment in his life."
From my observations Sueanne really doesn't really have two dollars to rub together herself. She would have had every right to hold onto her own possessions because financially every day is hard for her - tomorrow doesn't always promise something good.
It’s humbling to see someone living in the context of relative poverty here in Australia - feel such connection with others in their time of need to so immediately and simply rise up in support.
To me Sueanne's action is a simple yet powerful example for many of us to follow; - that of Jesus' example and instruction to think of others before self - to serve and love one another.
To me Jesus was served in that coffee and Ian probably never has had coffee served with such love!
Mark Matthews has worked in the social welfare sector across Melbourne for over 30 years. Mark has had an influential role in the development of the COACH mentoring program and has seen 500 mentors supporting 550 families across Australia. Mark will be sharing at SURRENDER 16 this March.