Thursday, January 18, 2007

Walking Out

One my favorite texts in the Bible tells the story of a paralytic who is lowered through a roof by his friends in order to get him to the feet of Jesus because the crowd is too large to approach otherwise. I've referenced this passage from Mark 2 a couple times in my blogging, even trying to do art with it a couple weeks ago. This was far out of character for me; I have never been accused of being an artist.

I love the fact that the friends tear a hole in an unidentified person's roof to get their friend to Jesus. This is radical. This is love. And, let's be honest, this is fun. Or at least it sounds like it.

I want to be these men who care enough about their friend to take such irresponsible action. I like to think we have a responsibility to care for others, and for Christians, that means getting people to Jesus by any means possible. Prayer is one of the most powerful ways we do this. Thus, yesterday's post.

Despite this role that I want to play, I often am cast as the incapacitated character. This text is a great source of comfort to me because sometimes I just can't get myself to Jesus. Sometimes the crowd is too dense. Sometimes I lack the desire. Sometimes life wears me down to the point of that mental exhaustion that no nap can cure. Sometimes I've been hurt by other people or, worse, I've hurt other people. Sometimes I just can't get off the mat.

I think we all find ourselves in these places more than we'd like to admit - all of us, that is, except perhaps Tom Brady.

"Community" is one of those words that gets tossed around in Christian circles quite a bit. Other people may know a lot of smart things about it, but I don't. Like the effect the Bible has on my life, I can't explain it's goodness. This passage helps give me a bit of insight though. During these times when I just can't get to Jesus, my friends so often can. They tear holes in the roof for me. They listen to me when months of repressd thoughts need to come out. They spend time with me. They pray for me. Simply put, they believe for me when I cannot.

What beautiful words they are that I read: "And Jesus seeing THEIR faith said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'"

I don't know much about community except that Mark 2 tells me it can help get me to the feet of Jesus when I cannot do it myself. I know that I like that.

"The paralytic got up, took his mat, and walked out in full view of them. . . ."

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