There are people that come in to your life, even if just for a brief moment in time, and give you a glimpse of how people can be if they’ll just open their heart and let love shine.
One of those people in my life was Marc Yellin (the name we knew him by on set), or as he was called on the Salvaged Series set, “Aussie Jesus”. I knew he was the person to play the role of Jesus in our little show the moment that he auditioned. He had such an authentic sweetness about him that he just drew you in. I was so excited that he accepted the part and knew his portrayal would make a huge impact on people.
Marc was only on set for one day. The final day. But boy did he shine.
As you can imagine, with a five day shoot, in one house and little time or money to deal with mistakes, things were starting to get pretty chaotic. We had a lot to get done and not much time to do it. And for me, I was about to see the scenes that I’d dreamed about seeing come to life since the days of writing the novel. I was nervous, almost panicked that we wouldn’t get the most important scenes shot. Without Jesus there is no Salvaged. It was very important that this role of Jesus be done just right. Paul (the director) and I wanted to make sure that he didn’t come off cheesy. We wanted authentic and we wanted powerful.
From the moment Marc walked on set, things eerily grew very calm, and a special electricity seemed to energize us. When he talked to you, he made you feel like you were the only person in the world. Between scenes, I watched him out the window, he was in the backyard doing yoga. So chill. This gave him his other nickname on set: Chillaxin’ Jesus.
As hoped, Marc delivered a wonderfully sweet performance. My dream of seeing Jesus come to life in Salvaged came true. I cried. A lot.
Then, a few days ago, I found out that he was dying of cancer. My heart broke. I hadn’t talked to him in a few years except via e-mail a few times, but he holds such a special place in my life that it was devastating to hear the news. Sadly, within forty-eight hours of me finding out he was ill, he was gone.
We have one life to live here on this earth. We can either make a positive impact in the world, and the people around us; make a negative impact; or make little to no impact at all. It’s honestly all our choice. It’s in how we treat others. How we love them. It’s about the way we make people feel in our presence, and it’s about the way we serve the world.
What I’ve learned through Aussie Jesus’ life and death is that I want to be someone who is a positive light in this world. And I want to leave a legacy of stories that bring life to people – not death. I want to help sprout hope and faith into their lives, and then watch it grow the way only God can accomplish through them.
How do you want to be remembered? What impact do you want to leave with people, and the world? And just how do you want to accomplish it? They are all questions worth thinking about… and answering.
Live by the example of Marc, my momentary Aussie Jesus – love life. love people. It’s exactly what the world needs more of.
RIP, Marc. You will be greatly missed.
(Marc is in episodes 2 and 6, which can be seen here.)