Tuesday, October 4, 2011
And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. Matthew 9:1-8bing
In the past few weeks we have been dealing with a lot of doctors and other medical professionals. Mark had knee surgery in August and I am anticipating a back procedure this fall. When a person is involved in a long term illness or recovery, it is very normal to lose heart at some point. Either the pain or the struggle get overwhelming. It can seem easier to accept the situation and do nothing than struggle for a solution. It is the faith of others, at these times, which allow us to heal and seek God's healing in the midst of pain and frustration. It is the visible faith of others that sees us through.
Jesus comes home to find a complicated reception. And in the midst of the political and religious turmoil, he is presented with a paralyzed man on a stretcher. The man's family and friends are not willing to give up on him, despite the fact that his situation is grave. He knows he will never walk or live any kind of life again. Their faith is greater than his fear and Jesus can work with that. Despite the challenges from the religious leaders and the problems in his home town, a man get up and walks home, taking his bed with him. A man who moments before could do absolutely nothing for himself and knew his life to be over. We are reminded today that we can be those of visible faith, in rough political and religious times, and healing and solutions will come forth.
Today, I ask God to help me be one of visible faith for others, and when I stumble, to ask others to be faithful on my behalf. May we all be reminded that we need one another. We are not alone, and when our faith lags, we are invited to seek the company of others, who can be faith until our healing is made manifest.