The man lay on his mat, much like he did every day. His paralysis left him immobile, and his days were pretty dull. Capernaum, a fishing village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee didn’t have much for him to do. Most people stayed busy trolling the sea for fish. When they had a break from work, they spent their time in the market or synogogue.
On occasion, his friends would move him around the village so that he would have something new to look at, and some even stopped to spend a few minutes of idle chatter with him. While those interludes were but small interruptions to his companion’s day, he longed for them to help break up the constant monotony.
But today, something was up. The volume of activity was much higher than normal for this time of day, and the man saw many of the villagers hurrying to Simon, the fisherman’s home. Maybe that man, Jesus, whom Simon had taken up with was back in town. There was talk that he could cure people. “Maybe,” thought the man, “he could cure me!”
He called out to his friend, Abner. Indeed, Abner confirmed, Jesus was there in Simon’s home. “Could you get me there?” the man begged?
Abner quickly grabbed three friends and they easily carried the man on his mat toward the house. The crowd grew thicker and thicker as they drew near. It seemed as though the entire population of Capernaum was flocking to the small hut. Simon’s home was filled to capacity, people spilling out, blocking the walkways and halls, straining to hear Jesus teaching and hoping to be healed.
The man on his mat fought back tears of frustration – so close to being healed of this paralysis for good. Why did he get his hopes up again?
But his friends? They weren’t ready to give up hope. “The roof,” cried one! Abner ran to the side and found the ladder that led to the roof. Most homes had one, making repair of the dried mud and brush weed roofs simpler. The four friends worked together to get the man’s mat up the ladder before anyone noticed what they were doing. One grabbed a spear Simon used to fish in the Sea that was resting by the side of the hut.
The roof was flat, as most were, and the four saw the sleeping mats where the family lay on hot summer nights. Abner calculated where Jesus would probably be preaching in the house below, and they began digging with the spear in the dried mud to make a hole big enough for the man’s stretcher.
The sound in the hut below ceased as pieces of dried mud and brush wood fell to the floor below. The faces of the town folk crammed into the house peered up, and they saw sunlight streaming through the once solid roof. Four dusty, grimy faces peered through the makeshift skylight and shouted “Hurray!” Before he knew it, the man on the mat was being lowered ever so gently down right in front of Jesus. Mission accomplished! Jesus looked up at the friends with a smile. If he could have stretched that far he probably would have given them a high five. “Way to go!” he said. “Because of your faith, he will walk again!” (Read Mark 2: 1-5).
Susan Lee is the author of several Christian Living books including God’s Law of Attraction: The Believer’s Guide to Success and Fulfillment, Developing Patience and Perseverance in an Impatient World and her newly released Devotionals Reflecting on God’s Power: What the Bible Teaches Us About Praise, Forgiveness and More. All are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle format, and are part of the Kindle Unlimited program.