Thursday, March 1, 2012
Climbing to the Roof
And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 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.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” Mark 2:1-12
Today, a week after surgery, I walked to the post office under my own steam. My back brace was tight and in place, cane in my left hand and my sweet husband by my side. The small morning walk of no consequence became a huge hurdle a challenge for me to overcome. I took one break on a bench by the fire house but other wise completed the mission without incident. For most people, it's not a big deal - for me, it's a deal changer - I am on the first stages of making a full recovery. Someday I will walk unaided without devices, braces, nor protective companions. Hoe fortunate I am to have a family that will see me through, walk with me until I am completely better, and have faith that I will make it through.
A man, paralyzed and dependent on friends for every aspect of life, was brought to Jesus for healing. When they couldn't get through because of the crowd, they found another way. Their love and compassion were not undone by a crowd, a closed room or a locked door. Hauling their tender patient up a flight of stairs, digging through rush and waddle, they found a way for their friend to see Jesus and to get the healing he so desperately deserved. And it was this love and loyalty that stopped Jesus in his tracks. The genuine love and faithfulness of these friends made healing simple and complete. Their faithfulness and commitment made God's work immediate and visible to all.
Today, as I struggle to walk this road of healing I ask God to give me the faith and stubbornness of these friends. May I never give up in the pursuit of healing for others, in finding ways to bring God's love with me where ever I go. And may this ancient story encourage us all. May we take a corner, go the extra mile, climb to the roof, so that God's love may be made visible to our needy world.