This week, I'm reminded of the privilege of being a Table-leg. Someone very dear to us hurts and feels gob-shocked by the unexpectedness of that hurt. The family reels with it. Yes, I might well say, they are paralyzed (at least temporarily). I can't say that I know how they feel. I can't imagine.Though there have been moments in my life when I've felt paralyzed by dread and pain and grief, every situation is different, unique. God knows this.
What I love about this story in Mark 2 is that we have a template for what WE--the body--are meant to do when those we love are gob-shocked. We aren't meant to share platitudes with them, to tell them to buck up, trust God, etc. No, it's OUR job to do the work they can't do. We push through the crowd and climb the roof. We break away the bricks and dig through the roof to get to Jesus on their behalf. Whatever it takes, this story tells us: that's what we do. We get our knees and our hands and our fingernails dirty (maybe even bloody), praying for them. And we don't stop until we get to Him. We don't stop until we see that they get up from their mats and can begin to walk themselves. Rather, we continue when we see them arise from their paralysis, and can join us in the prayer. Yes, our praying for them doesn't stop at the end of their paralysis, of course. It simply grows with them joining us as we hold them upright, rather than on the table.
That's it. Don't ask your hurting friends what you can do for them. What way is there to tell you? Just start climbing the roof, just start moving those bricks.
Be their table-legs!