I’m very blessed. I have friends who would drop me through a roof. Do you?
You may be confused about why I think having friends who would do that for/to me is a blessing. You may be wondering whether I have a radically different definition of friendship than you. Trust me: I don’t.
The pastor where we attended church this past Sunday asked us this very same question, although I think she used the word “lower” instead of “drop.” Her question was spurred by this passage in Mark’s gospel:
When [Jesus] had come back to Capernaum several days afterward,
it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together,
so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He
was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a
paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of
the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had
dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was
lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your
sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:1-5
The pastor pointed out that the paralytic received forgiveness (and ultimately full physical healing, too), not because of his own faith necessarily, but because Jesus saw the faith of his friends.
His friends carried him from his home. His friends refused to give up when the door was blocked by so many people crowded into the home. His friends somehow managed to get their friend up to the roof, where they begin digging a hole large enough to lower him down on his pallet. His friends believed that getting him in front of Jesus would bring healing.
Their faith radically changed his life.
I wonder what the rest of the crowd thought as little bits of roof started sifting down to the ground around them. Were they distracted? Or did Jesus have them spellbound? Maybe Jesus didn’t even stop talking until the pallet reached the floor in front of Him.
If you read on in Mark 2, you’ll discover that some in the crowd were indignant that Jesus thought he could forgive the paralytic man’s sins (and to prove them utterly wrong, Jesus heals him physically). Maybe there are some folks like that in your own crowd – indignant at Jesus’ presence in your life.
But your true friends are there, too, looking down eagerly from the hole in the roof, waiting to see Jesus reach out His hand.
Do you have friends like that? The ones who would stop at nothing to help you through a crisis? Friends whose faith carries you through tough times when your own faith is on shaky ground? Friends whose encouragement frees you from your stuck places? Friends whose prayers and presence in your life radically change you?
I do. I’m blessed that way. And I hope you are, too.
Have a friend you’d like to give a shout out to here? I’d love to hear how your friends have dropped you through the roof.