“And they came, bringing him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.”
– Mark 2:3-4 (ESV)
Sports often have a way of bringing out the best in people. The remarkable story of two 5,000-meter runners in the 2016 Rio Olympics is a perfect example. American Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand had never met, but misfortune would bring them together in an incredible display of human spirit. In the middle of the race, Hamblin suddenly fell and tripped up D’Agostino leaving both athletes sprawled on the track. D’Agostino got back on her feet but refused to continue the race. Instead, she turned around to help the stunned Hamblin get up. Both runners finished the race more than two minutes behind the winner. The athletes hugged at the finish line and Hamblin was quick to thank D’Agostino after the race. “That girl is the Olympic spirit. I went down and was like what’s happening? Suddenly this hand was on my shoulder, like get up, we have to finish this. Find a way!” The race committee ruled that both runners would be given places in the 5.000-meter finals.
The gospel writer Mark gives us another example of the human spirit. The reputation of Jesus and His ability to heal the sick had spread quickly. A very large crowd had gathered at the home of the disciple Peter to see Jesus and hear what He had to say. Four men brought their paralyzed friend to the house, but by the time they got there, the crowd was so large they could not even get near the door. They were determined to help their friend. Find a way! Climbing to the roof, they cut a hole and lowered the man at Jesus’ feet. Jesus rewarded the faith of these men by forgiving the sin of the paralyzed man. When we connect in Jesus’ name, powerful things can happen. Would you be willing to lend a helping hand to an unknown competitor? Would you be willing to rip the roof off a house to save a friend? Would you do everything you could to find a way?
Heavenly Father, give me eyes that see the needs of others and give me the determination to find a way to meet those needs. Amen.