The Gospels mention a dedicated group of friends in a few passing verses…a group crazy enough to look for any way they could to get their paralyzed friend to the feet of Jesus, who was famous by the time he came to their town. They had heard he could heal, change lives, start things new for people…and they had a friend who couldn’t walk. They knew if they could only pick him up and get him to Jesus’ feet, maybe that friend’s story would be rewritten. When Jesus came, they grabbed him and ran like crazy…probably groaning and sweating under the dead weight until they finally arrived and found the front door blocked.
So they looked for another way.
They craned their necks to see around the crowd, and switched tactics, and got creative, and then they committed to do whatever it would take to get that friend to Jesus. They hauled him up the stairs, pushed the roof apart, and literally lowered him down right on top of Jesus. Can you imagine Jesus looking up into those desperate eyes? Those tired and sweaty faces? Because they had brought their friend as far as they could…and now it was up to Jesus.
Mark 2:1-12 tells us that Jesus healed that paralyzed man body and soul because he “saw their faith.” Their hustle to bring that friend to Jesus’ feet meant a life changed forever, a broken body made new and a soul redeemed…holistically, fully, eternally.
This story resonates because a lot of days we feel like the crazy friends. It feels like hard work dragging souls through hot and crowded streets just to find the way blocked. Time to get creative. Rethink. Climb the stairs. Try again. And then again with the hope and faith that if we could just get someone to the feet of Jesus then he could do the rest.
And he can. And he does.
Our Lighthouse Resource Center staff know this hustle well as they have recently had to change and adapt many things to reopen and relaunch our program to reflect post-COVID realities. Our New Dawn Residential Program staff know it too as they work to reconcile families, and walk with kids who are healing from addiction.
Climbing stairs with paralyzed souls is hard and heavy work. But it is also holy, and Jesus is at the end of it. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It doesn’t mean we won’t strain our necks around the crowd and bang our heads against the wall to come up with a plan…but it does mean that we are seen through all of that. Jesus saw those friends as they peered with a faith-filled question through that open ceiling, and their work mattered to him.
What we do, how we live our lives, the way we push and pull and drag others toward him matters to him now and it matters for eternity. Today I encourage you friends to keep searching, to find those creative ways, to open those rooftops, and lower those tired souls all the way down to Jesus’ feet.
He sees them. He sees you. And he cares.