614 Painting Services, that is the name that Mark gave his business when he opened it in the Spring of 2020. Over about 4 years Mark had been dreaming of opening his own business, and he contemplated many different names. The two of us had discussed what he hoped his business would mean, we knew it was meant to be more than just a painting business. Mark settled on 614, which was representative of Romans 6:14 which reads "For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under law but under grace." He chose this verse because it described his testimony so well. Mark's life was once ruled by sin, but God stepped in and changed his story for the better. In one way or another Mark told his story to anyone who would listen. Sometimes it was with words, after his death I received many cards telling me about how Mark did a job for them and shared his testimony with them. These clients of his were so touched by his story that they would share it with their friends, and God was glorified by Mark doing a painting job. Sometimes it was through mentorship, Mark took his role as a lead painter for All Kind very seriously. He was committed not only to training his rollers well, but he would also take the time to listen to their troubles, and offer them pieces of advice. So many people wrote to me about how meaningful he was in their lives, that they worked side by side for a year, and were so deeply saddened by his passing. Sometimes he ministered simply with his character, he always did his best, never left a mess, and made sure the client was happy. Mark decided to start his own business, not because he had a passion for painting itself, but because he knew he could use painting as a tool, a tool to create a legacy for his family, and to glorify God. When Mark suddenly died, he hadn't had much of an opportunity to get his business off the ground, so I wasn't able to keep it running. Our friend Karisa had an idea of one way we could keep the legacy alive, and that was through 614 Day.
The idea behind 614 Day was simple, choose something to paint. Take a before photo, paint it (while remembering Mark and who he was to you) then take an after photo and post it on social media using #614day. So we did that, we got the word out and got our projects ready to go. I spend June 14th staining my fence, and varnishing an old desk, and I was able to see many posts honoring Mark. Old Co-workers, friends and even perfect strangers chose to take a little time to remember him.
We didn't stop there though. After Mark died, a donation was made to Serenity Village Community Church by Bishop T.D. Jakes. The donation was a tree to be planted in honor of Mark, Pastor Jeff and Monica's spiritual son. So 6-14 was chosen as the day to plant that tree. It was a beautiful day to gather together. We stood in a circle and people shared who Mark was to them, and what he taught them. We laughed and we cried. Then we all participated in painting a large canvas with various shades of blue (Mark's favorite color) that will someday hang somewhere special. After the painting was complete we moved to plant the tree. I was able to share a few words, really just describing what I wrote here, how Mark looked at his work as his ministry. I also shared that Mark allowed 3 main things to fill his life: All Kind Painting, his family, and Serenity Village. He was truly planted at SVCC and so it was fitting for a tree to be permanently planted there in his name, as a beautiful reminder. Anyone who wanted to shoveled dirt to cover the roots of the Mighty Oak planted for Mark. We probably won't plant a tree every year for Mark, but we can use 6-14 as a day to remember the grace that God bestowed on Mark's life, and continues to bestow on each of ours.