(photo from www.LumoProject.com)
A few months ago my pastor touched on the story of Jesus told in Mark 2:2-12. Four men had a paralyzed friend who needed to see Jesus. They went to great lengths to get him into Jesus’ presence – lowering him down through the roof.
I’m going to paraphrase here, but one of the applications to real life that was given in the sermon was, as a Christian, if we aren’t the one lying on the mat, we should be one of the people picking up the corner of a friend’s mat.
This has stuck with me. Initially I was asking myself the questions, “Whose mat am I carrying?” “Do I even know what friends around me need to be carried to Jesus?, or am I too self-absorbed to notice?” “What can I do for those I know who are suffering?”
These are all great questions and I believe led me to take some action that I might not have otherwise taken. But I was looking at this story from only one perspective, and mostly thinking about it as outward actions I needed to take.
This summer, however, the WHOLE picture of this has become clear to me.
I have been the one lying on the mat. We have been dealing with some serious mental health issues in our family (I may or may not write more about this as I do want to protect privacy).
In the midst of this I’ve been having a hard time praying about it. I have never, at least since recommitting my life to Jesus in my mid-twenties, had a hard time praying about anything. I’m still not even sure why it’s been hard.
But what I DO know? I have amazing friends who have carried me into Jesus’ presence by praying FOR me, my family, and our specific needs.
It makes me want to cry with thankfulness when I think of the love and faithfulness of these dear friends.
They have picked up the corner of my mat.