Get Up And Walk

Read Mark 2:1 – 12

My favorite Bible story is the story of the paralytic whose friends lower him through the roof to get him next to Jesus. Jesus forgives him of his sins, the members of the Sanhedrin who were there threw a small fit, and when Jesus tells him to get up and walk everyone there is astonished because that’s just what he does.

The Bible account of that man ends there, but his life didn’t. He had moved into a new season so profoundly different from the first part of his life that it seemed to hold no connection to it at all. But much of his joy was based on that difference: he’d never stood up before, much less walked out a door.

The man, we’ll call him Mordecai, probably earned his living by begging. It was an honorable trade for a paralytic, but now that he could stand up would he return to begging or would he ask one of his friends to teach him the fisherman’s trade? (The story takes place in Capernaum, which is on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel.) Imagine the joy of a man who could use his strength every day to wrest a living from the sea along with the other men of the town? What would it mean to become a man who returned home after selling his catch, his pocket full of coins, able to take his wife into his arms and pick her up in his arms?

What did it mean to his wife?

Nothing in Scripture says that Mordecai was married but it would have been unusual for him not to have married. Who would marry a cripple?

Only another cripple, perhaps a cripple whose father had determined that Mordecai was the best husband that could be hoped for. Perhaps Mordecai was a good man, a successful beggar, and perhaps the woman was only one of many children whose father, poor at best, was eager to find her a good if not ideal husband?

Imagine they had been married for many years and had a good life. Now imagine her husband comes strolling into the house, a tall, handsome, happy man. Would his wife be happy, or would she be terrified that such a vibrant man would soon long for a vibrant wife, a wife who was not a cripple?

When the possibility of your future comes strolling in the front door all handsome and tall and beckoning you to join him, it is both terrifying and joyous. The beautiful possibility of a different life is something you cannot imagine because what would a great handsome future want to do with a homely cripple like you? No matter how he woos you, no matter how he reassures you, all you want to do is focus on getting dinner on the table and ignore whoever that is that’s standing inside your front door smiling at you.

Does the idea of a different life now that you’ve already lived most of it terrify or excite you?

Does it seem like a pipe dream, or a dream come true?

What would it take for you to accept the invitation?

What would it take for you to Get Up And Walk toward your future?

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