Friends

“Friends”
In Mark chapter 2 is the story of a man who is paralyzed. His friends have heard about Jesus. They go to see Him. When they get there the room is packed. They know Jesus can help their friend. So they go beyond normal and go up on the roof and tear a hole in it and lower him down to encounter Jesus.
I would like to write about some of my friends that are going beyond normal.
Nobody wants to be on the mat, nobody wants to be paralyzed. We would all rather be one of the friends.
Being on the mat is humbling. When life incapacitates you there are feelings of shame and guilt. Guilty because you can’t do the things that you once could do. You feel helpless. Faith is hard, Jesus is hard to see.
Your friends can see Jesus better than you can. You are on the mat getting lowered. You can’t see Jesus yet. You just think, “What in the world are they doing”. But they can see Him. They keep telling you that He is there.
I can see Jesus in your faces.
I see your muscles tense as you lower, I know I am not light right now.
I know it’s hard work.
I see your love for me, for my wife and my kids.
I cry not because of pain, but because of love.
I am amazed that you are willing to go beyond normal.
You didn’t/aren’t giving up.
And because of that.
I am starting to see Jesus once again.
In you
Soon I will see Him again
But now
In this journey
He is showing himself to me through you
Being this kind of friend isn’t easy.
I think about what you are doing.
I see your wives working with you in tandem.
Making sacrifices so that you can give a little more.
I know you have sacrificed.
I am overwhelmed and honored.
There are many who have helped in this process.
Here are a few.
On one corner is my friend David He has a really busy job, yet still takes the time to reach out. His wife Sarah working with him and reaching out to my wife, Brooks.
There is my friend Josh Joshua. He is like a big teddy bear, a manly one of course. He and his wife Erin just make you feel loved.
There is my friend Hank, who is probably making sound effects while lowering. His wife Anna is one of the most thoughtful people I have met.
There is my friend Daniel, who calls and starts off by saying, “I don’t know what to say, I just wanted to check on you” the perfect thing to say.
There is my friend David, who I have known through college. He recently suffered loss. He gets me. We are like the two old guys in the muppets.
There is Ryan. He is shouldering so much of the weight that I can’t carry right now. He is so loving, so loyal a definition of a friend.
There are so many others: Henry, Charlie, Hank, Bonnie, Beth, Beth, Chrisy,Larry, Mitzi, Brent, Meredith, Emily, Randy Leighand friends at West Park and in Cru.
Thank you all, for in you, I see Jesus.
I am getting closer.
Thank you for loving, for caring.
Thank you for your sacrifice.
For showing me Jesus when He is hard to see.
For in your showing of faith, He is healing me.

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