An Unexpected Life
by Mark Boobbyer
Christ, cricket and the Times crossword. These are some of my father’s chief loves in life, and he has passed them on to me. Not that it stops there: he has a love for all sorts of sports and, perhaps more importantly, a passion for sportsmanship; he has a love of nature, in particular birds; and he has a heart for seeing the best in other people. He rarely has a bad word to say about anybody. What a gift, and a challenge, to always look for and find the good in others.
My father’s work has always been difficult to explain to people. It was, and still is, particularly hard to evaluate in a world that judges by results. If my father has had a single ministry it would be this: taking time to care for other people. He is good at dropping in on people at the right moment; he always has a word of encouragement, usually very opportune; however tired he may be feeling, he always greets visitors and answers the phone as if greeting a long lost friend. All over the world – and this is no exaggeration – there are people who receive letters from him regularly, and will testify to, and are grateful for, his faithful friendship. He is a great letter-writer. He has made a contribution to the lives of countless people in ways that cannot be quantified.
Growing up he had two dreams – the dreams of many a young English boy! – to play rugby and cricket for England . By the age of 24 he had nine caps for England at rugby. He had scored tries at Twickenham and 100’s at Lord’s. He had been offered the chance to open the batting for Middlesex, and he would have been in the running for the 1955 Lions tour. But he then gave it all up because he felt that God was calling him to do something different with his life. God has used him in unexpected ways, in all sorts of strange places, and he has never regretted his decision.
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