JOHNSON CITY Tenn. (BNC) by Tim Hall — Four men approached the woman in a wheelchair. One of them looked quite distinctive with his head shaved (except for the tall spikes running down the middle of his scalp). As they surrounded her, others might have wondered, “What are they up to?” They didn’t have to wonder long as they lifted the wheelchair up onto their shoulders.
This incident happened last week at the North Dakota State Fair. The woman was part of a large gathering to hear the rock band Weezer. Her view of the concert couldn’t have been good from her low vantage point. Here’s how Ashlyn Kelly, the woman in the wheelchair, felt: “They weren’t just holding me up … they were literally like pumping me in the air. I was dancing, having the time of my life.”
“Would you want to be lifted up?” was the question Ashlyn was asked. Thanks to the kindness of these four men, previously strangers to her, she had a great time that night. And now there are millions more who have been reminded of the power of kindness.
Something very similar happened during Jesus’ ministry on earth. It didn’t involve a concert, but the crowds were every bit as thick as people pressed to get close to Jesus to hear Him teach or to feel His healing touch.
Luke gives his account of the event in Luke 5:17-26. A man was paralyzed, and was unable to get to the Lord. Other men (we’re not told how many) brought him on a bed. When they couldn’t get to the door of the house where Jesus was teaching, they lifted the man onto the roof, “and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus” (Luke 5:19). These men helped the afflicted man do what he could not do for himself. He was face to face with the Great Healer!
Don’t miss this detail in Luke’s account: “When [Jesus] saw their faith …” Whether the paralyzed man asked these men to carry him to see Jesus is not known. But they gave their time and physical strength to get him there, because they knew Jesus could make a difference. The man was forgiven of his sins and healed as a result. But this would not have happened without caring individuals who reached out to help.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” Paul wrote in Galatians 6:2. This principle of Christian service was illustrated famously by a parable Jesus told in Luke 10:25-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Giving time and effort to help others is what being a Christian is all about.
We see people in need every day. How many of us, though, stop and ask, “Would you want to be lifted up?” We may have the opportunity to do for them the greatest service a person can do for another – bring them to “the Savior of all men” (1 Timothy 4:10).
Tim works with the Central church in Johnson City. He writes Light Grams every Friday and has given BNC permission to use his articles.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He sometimes writes “7 Points.” http://randal.us