While he (Jesus) was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat.
They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd so they dug a hole through the roof above his head.
Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.
– Mark 2:3-4
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 after 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 couldn’t 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 join together 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?
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.