Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Hole in the Roof

And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:3-5

This morning I stepped out of the rectory into rainy weather. There is a promise of much snow, sleet and ice before this storm is said and done. I looked up to gray skies, a late winter weeping day where snuggling under the covers seems the only way to cope. And then as I walked the few steps to the church I noticed an incredible sight. The first few daffodils lifting their closed heads above the saturated, cold earth. Defiant almost, persistent for sure, these little heralds of spring will not be defeated by snow, wind or anything else. Their whole beings are ready to face the worst so that color might reconquer the present frozen earth. They are not frightened off because of weather reports or a little snow. They have a job to do and they are going to see it through. One of God's many little reminders to each of us of the persistence of faith and love. And the glorious promise of spring.

Several people brought their friend to see Jesus. They were kept back by the crowd, and their friend was too ill to make his own way. I am sure others went home that night, but they persisted. It must have been a tremendous struggle to climb to the roof, balancing their friend, and then to open the roof and carefully lower him to Jesus. But they persisted because the believed that Jesus was able to do something wonderful for their dear friend. They loved so well, that their loved compelled them beyond any blockade and barrier that life threw their way. And because of their persistence, we have a vivid picture of faith, an open roof and an empty bed. Healing came not from perfection but from persistence and an extra measure of love and faith.

Today, as the rain turns to snow and spring seems so far off, I am reminded of the persistence of the daffodils and the fierce friends of crippled man. Despite the challenges that face us today, whether it is another snowstorm or a storm of life, I want to remember that God promises each of us healing and renewal - spring is coming. May we all have the courage to persist, to hang on, to find a way through today, knowing God is anxious to heal and renew us, now and always.

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