Just then some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but, finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”— Luke 5:18-20 (NRSVUE)
Something happened that paralyzed me.
I needed to talk about it.
I shared it with my priest,
my spiritual director,
and a friend.
Each one listened
to my confusion, pain, and helplessness
with loving compassion.
I needed all four of them to take a corner of my cot
and carry me to Jesus.
Something in me
feels a bit ashamed
that I would need four (or more) people
to get me on my feet again.
But that isn’t how Jesus sees it.
He marvels at their faith
and is grateful for my friends
and so am I.
Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.
–Galatians 6:2 (CEB)
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My friend Rod Janz has an amazing podcast series on Hints of Gladness. He is interviewing a number of friends about contemplation. In each episode, there is a guided meditation: Brent Unrau guides us into embodied presence, Deb Steinkamp invites us to meditate on a poem, and Mary Wolfe opens us to paying attention. You can hear their stories in Rod’s interviews with them here. I am proud to know these people and call them my friends too.