For the Love of a Friend
"Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat... when they couldn't fins a way to do this ... they went up on the roof, and lowered him ... through the tiles ... right in front of Jesus." Luke 5:18,19
There is something very tangible, very heartwarming, when we see people going radically out of their way to help others. It stirs at the heart of every human being.
I noticed this watching the images of people saving people in Harvey and Irma. They didn't have to do it - spend days upon days on airboats, helicopters, rubber rafts, and waist-deep in snake infested waters looking for people to save. In the doing of the thing, their love transcended all sleep, all time, all personal comfort.
When I see this stuff I grow deeply emotional and something, somewhere way down in me, knows it is a very good thing.
The men who wanted to get their friend to Jesus had it, too. For their love of him, they needed to get him to Him. They tossed this way and that, but the crowds thinned out only up there, on the roof. And against all norms they went radical in presenting their friend "right in front of Jesus."
To be a sacrificial friend sometimes means ripping off roofs for the sake of others. Other times, in means sacrificing pride so that others can lower you down, through the roof, to get into the presence of God. In that sense, sacrificial friendship is a two way street, depending on one's season of life. It's a give and take with only one thing holding the thing together: relationship.
The deeper truth here, of course, when we go out on a limb, completely forgetting who we are and giving all for the sake of another - it is a direct, empowering link to the DNA of the Faith. That "giving sacrificial thing" beats at the heart of Jesus.
I can't help but think his heart swells with joy as well when he sees his children reaching sacrificially across the aisle, forgetting about, all for the sake of something, someone, greater than themselves.
Truth be known: He buckled the crowds, too, and went radical in rescuing us. He provided a portal in the roof, that we might be found in our paralyzed state, crippled before God himself.
Father I pray you would move me this day into the joy of inconvenience for the sake of someone I love. May my love be radical, intentional, and sacrificial. Unite me with others to find even a single soul who may be paralyzed in heart, spirit, soul, or body to lift a roof and present them before your all forgiving, all healing Word. Amen.