Yesterday, I was reading the well known Bible story of the paralytic man healed by Jesus. I’ve known it well since childhood, but this time I saw something completely different in the story. In the past I always thought of it in terms of a supernatural healing, this time I pondered the miracle that the man was even there in the first place.
He had to have some awesome friends because he couldn’t walk. The crowd around Jesus was so tight that there was no way a paralytic was getting through. So the people with him hauled him up to the rooftop – which would have been no small feat with a dead weight. Then they made a hole in the roof large enough for him to fit through. At no time does this story outline the dangers in doing so as it constitutes malicious intent to destroy property, trespass, not to mention being a little on the crazy side. Then they lowered him down to Jesus on a mat. How easy it could have been for that to go wrong! The place was packed. They did all this on a chance that he would be healed – which he was.
When you think about the part the nameless friends played you realize just how far these people stuck their necks out for this guy. They didn’t give up. They saw a chance for him and went for it, without thought or care for their own wellbeing, without any reference to consequence.
These people loved their friend. They were willing to sacrifice and take a chance for him.
Sometimes I feel as though the world is a place that promotes each to their own, every man for himself, get what you can. Even in places that have been traditionally a balance of profession and service like the political and medical spheres, there are times when I cannot fathom the blatant take what you can attitude.
It all makes me appreciate my friends that much more. They are the ones that will stick their necks out for you, support you, and give away from themselves without contemplation of what’s in it for them. They lift you up when you’re feeling down. They take your grief and heartache upon their hearts. They give you a kick up the bottom when you need it, and they tell you what you don’t always want to hear – all because they love you.