In conversation with friends recently, someone said, “No one ever taught me how to love.” As I pondered that statement, it dawned on me that oftentimes we move through life, toiling and striving, meeting goals and achieving dreams, without ever really learning how to truly love those around us.
Some of us, due to past experiences, have been crippled in the area of our emotions, and as a result find the concept of loving anyone outside of our immediate family an unattainable feat. Admittedly, it’s easier to say that we ‘love’ everyone, than it is to actually ‘love’ everyone; especially when we are unsure of what it means to express that love.
The story of the four men who carried their crippled friend on a bed to be healed by Jesus, speaks volumes on what it means to love another. The event is recounted briefly in the Gospel according to Mark and we are told that “While [Jesus] was preaching God’s word to [the multitude], 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 2:2b-4). Because this entire event is covered in the short space of three verses, we can almost miss its significance as we hurry through the rest of the chapter.
But should we pause and reflect, we would see four men who, understanding that their friend was paralyzed and unable to make his own way to Jesus, decided among themselves that they would carry him. They accepted the responsibility of ensuring that he received his healing, and persisted until his need was met.
You see, when the Bible declares that we should love our neighbour as ourselves (Matthew 22:39), it is referring to the kind of love that identifies with the woes and misfortunes of another and is willing to cover, carry, or cradle that one based on the need of the season. The question is: will you carry your brother when he falls or becomes crippled by life’s harsh circumstances? Will you carry that sister who’s too broken to make her own way to the God of healing and deliverance? Are you willing to carry that relative, that friend, that co-worker who is in desperate need of a helping hand?
Today, let us translate the love we have for God into a tangible demonstration of love towards His people. Let our love be expressed not just in the best of times, but also in the worst of times.
Scripture of the Day: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well.” – James 2:8