Sunday, September 03, 2006

If I were him...(for Ann)

Based on Mark 2:1-12

My embarrassment would’ve been nearly unbearable. To see all those people, covered in dust and pieces of the ceiling and just staring at me on my mat like a fool. To know that I was nothing more than an interruption, that I had inconvenienced them, that I had brought my problem to the center of their lives. And then to see him: his hands still raised in emphasis of his life-altering message he was speaking to them. To see his eyes looking into mine, and to know that I just came to him – a KING – like this…

My overwhelming gratitude would’ve been mixed with agonizing frustration. To know how much my friends cared, how they ignored my pleas to “just forget it”, how they were so dedicated when I was willing to give up. And when they, in a great team effort, lifted me up to the roof, and then started digging with their own hands, working and sweating just to get me close enough to him…

My heart would’ve hung limp and lifeless inside my chest like my legs when they finally rested on the floor. Would he heal me? Would he really consider my affliction? Could he really make himself touch my broken, desperate, bleeding life with his clean hands? To hope in him would mean to hope at all. Would I have remembered how to hope?

If I were him, and I watched the Messiah look hard at me, then turn and look intently at my friends, only to look back at me with a pleased and satisfied smile, would I have known that he saw the same thing in them that I did? Would I have known that it was when he saw them lowering me down before him, when he saw their dirty hands gripping on to the edge of the hole they had just created, when he saw them mouthing to me, “There he is,” “He's got you now,” and “Soon,” when he looked in their eyes and saw the hope that was missing from mine…would I have known it was when he saw their faith that he turned to me and touched me with his hand of healing?

You are surrounded by faith and hope and love. It is so evident in the heart of your husband, I watch it flow from your kids, I witness it in your church as they surround you, and I see it in people like myself who don’t know you well but who have been touched by your life and broken by your sorrow. Know that you are daily being laid down at the feet of the only one who can make you whole, and all around you people are whispering “There he is,” “He's got you now,” and “Soon.” Know that there is hope in the eyes of those around you. May he see the faith that is carrying you, and may he lay on you his hand of healing.