When all seems lost and you can’t find your way, where do you turn? There are often stories in the news about someone who has faced the odds and managed to rise above their circumstances and we marvel that just “believing in myself” made the difference. But what about those who have lost hope or can’t help themselves?
We learned through Pastor Jane’s message on Sunday, the adage “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible. But, it’s easy to look at the people we pass who are down and out and make the assumption they should be able to change. Instead, what might happen if we choose to reach out and ask questions that might help us learn more of their story? What if we could be a catalyst for change in their lives?
In Mark 2:1-12, a crowd of people had gathered, learning that Jesus had returned to Capernaum. They wanted to hear him speak, and had pressed in so there was no room for anyone to squeeze between. People who knew of a paralytic man learned Jesus was there, and tried to bring the man through the crowd. Now, we are not told in this if these were friends of the man who was paralyzed, or if they just saw him and had compassion on him, but they believed Jesus was able to help him. When they couldn’t get through the crowd, we are told they removed the roof above where Jesus stood and dug a hole through it! With ropes, they let the man down on his mat through the roof. The story continues, “When Jesus saw their faith [the faith of those who brought the man to Jesus], he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” And, after challenging the scribes who called his remarks blasphemy, the passage continues… “But so that you many know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he said to the paralytic – “I say to you, stand up, take up your mat and go to your home.”
Do I have the faith to reach out and help someone who cannot help himself? Do you? How would that make a difference in the lives of people who live day in and day out with little or no hope? – Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist