“They came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.4 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.”
In this Gospel story recorded in Mark 2:1-12 we read of the four friends who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus. What a privilege it is to carry those we love to our Lord for His healing presence to surround them.
Their simple faith is what we are called to. “Paralyzed” people are waiting for us to only act. If God gives us eyes to see, we will see them.
I was inspired to write this simple poem as I thought about this man and his friends. I hope it blesses you.
Let Me Carry You
You lie alone broken and weak Unsure if you will make it through Seeing a future dark and bleak To Jesus let me carry you
Your daily troubles set in stone Seem heavy with unchanging hue And though you think you’re all alone To Jesus, I will carry you
You struggle to remember love Ev’ry feeling painfully blue I will bring God’s grace from above To Jesus let me carry you
“All of Jesus’ followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for the wonderful Life they had seen.”
I suppose that this is what broken believers do. There is an essential element of joining others in this verse. The faithful followers will inevitably flock together. There are very few solitary people following the Lord Jesus. We can’t do “Christianity” by ourselves.
They all gather to one person.
Not a religion, creed, formula, or pattern. Many will sort this out as time goes on. Jesus is our Lord and master and friend, not a doctrine, or certainly not a simple “Powerpoint” presentation. It’s Jesus! We come together because we love Him, and we’ve been told that He loves us as well. That reciprocal love is why we were created.
Within this intimate assemblage, we can hear spontaneous shouting. Some will sing. It will get raucous and loud. Their enthusiasm is focused on Him, “the wonderful Life.” Frankly, some who follow Jesus are not “quiet” people. I don’t know how you feel about this. (Maybe, you just need to adjust?)
Sometimes some of us get moody and withdraw from others. Depression can thin out the ranks quicker than anything. It is like a communicable disease that spreads from person to person. I have become a victim, and a carrier myself. As a broken believer, I must seek out an inoculation for my brooding. I also must see the enemy’s influence. Worship is a great help.
The verse talks about the walk.
And yes, there is a definite walk! Within the rabbinical pattern of first-century discipleship, the student would copy his teacher as closely as possible. If he limped so would they. He would dress like his teacher, talk like his teacher, and walk like his teacher. Imitation was the highest honor you could bestow.
The verse talks about “what they had seen.”They were observers. That means they had to get closer to the action. Seeing something, or someone up close makes you a witness, an “eye-witness.” You may need to get closer and see for yourself this Jesus, the Lord, and Savior of the whole world.
This poem is written in the “villanelle* form. I wrote it as a reminder to myself of how hard the darkness of depression can be so that I don’t lose my compassion for those in my world who are struggling to find the Light. But it is also a reminder that the Light of Christ does shine in that darkness, however faintly, and will never be extinguished. If you feel oppressed by the darkness, seek His Light.
The light shines in the darkness Faintly I see His light My need I will confess
Toward the light I press Keeping hope in my sight The light shines in the darkness
Despair my soul’s distress Entangled in the night My need I will confess
His grace I will profess Giving me the strength to fight The light shines in the darkness
I feel anguish oppress Crushing with all its might My need I will confess
Feeling His love’s caress Compassion burning bright The light shines in the darkness My need I will confess
* vil·la·nelle, [vil-uh-nel]
a short poem of fixed form, written in tercets, usually five in number,
followed by a final quatrain, all being based on two rhymes.
“A rule I have had for years is: to treat the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal friend. His is not a creed, a mere doctrine, but it is He Himself we have.”
Friendship with God can be a liberating secret. It releases us from the terrible bondage of religion and ritual with all its negative connotations. Intimacy with our Lord will carry us beyond creed or doctrine to the place of true communion.
It’s not that the Law is bad, but in the intense light of God’s grace it’s a poor substitute. We value legalism, and that is precisely what we believe when we bypass the relationship. Doctrine is a good servant, but a poor master.
Grace always trumps legalism. Love surpasses rules.
We evangelicals talk big about “a personal relationship.” That is indeed crucial. But few be the believers that walk in a daily friendship with their Savior. That is truly a tragedy.
“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends since I have told you everything the Father told me.”
John 15:15, NLT
Friendship with Jesus will bring true guidance. He shares secrets and wisdom with his friends. We are brought into a true knowledge of the Kingdom through the relationship of friendship with the King. We are not slaves– or drones, slavishly serving out of slavish fear.
We are now His friends.
Jesus wants to confide in us; sharing mysteries hidden by time and sin. And his kingdom is full of great perplexities! He is looking to bring us into a willingness of daily communion.
He will heal our wounds, and forgive all our sins. He is truly our savior as well as our friend.
Friendship comes with a price. It means we are now tethered to the Lord. That can get old, especially when I want to do my own thing. I will continually have to lay something down and choose to accept tether and follow Him.