Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Have you ever cut in line or been in a line so long and moving so slow that you were tempted to push your way to the front? Maybe you have been in the emergency room and knew your case was much more urgent than those around you? I’m sure we can all relate to this feeling of urgency and desperation.

They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.  Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.  Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'” Mark 2:4
I am amazed by the friendship of the people who took the time and spent the effort necessary to carry their dear friend to the foot of Jesus.  They carried him, who knows how far.  Arriving to where Jesus was, they found such a large crowd that they couldn’t get in to see him. Some would give up here, but they pressed on.  These men climbed the house that Jesus was in and hoisted their friend up to the roof.  Then, they cut a hole big enough to lower him through.  After all of this, they lowered him down to Jesus.  They essentially cut in line because of the desperation they felt on behalf of their friend. Their friend was sick, and hurting.  Not only physically; but also emotionally. A person with this great of a disability not only feels the physical frustration, but is emotionally spent and drained and depressed. They saw his great need. They felt for him. Unable to do anything to physically fix his body, they did the only thing they could do.  They carried him to the foot of the Healer.  Anyway they could.  It was all up to Him.    

My heart relates to the friends in this story.

I have seen friends hurt; and I hurt for them. 

I have seen loved ones ill and have been unable to do anything for  them.  

I have known the desperation of having a large gap between where the front of the

line is, and felt like I am at the end of the line.

Why is it that we think to pray after everything else has been tried or we have no other

Why does praying feels like such an idle thing to do to help someone? 

I think of the hymn which states, “ what a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer”.  It is here I am reminded that this is the best thing I can do for a friend.  God is able. When ability and distance separate me from being able to do something tangible, prayer is the most active thing I can do for my friend in need. It is essentially climbing up to the rooftop, cutting a hole and lowering them to the feet of the Healer.   
THAT is a privilege. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Can I Get Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T ?

I posed the question recently on my FB page asking if people thought respect was to be earned or demanded.  As I’m sure you can guess I got varying answers.

How is respect defined? defines respect as “high or special regard; esteem” 
Esteem is defined as “worth, value”
Respectable is defined as “worthy of respect”

So many times I hear complaints about our troubled youth and their blatant lack of respect.  Although I agree with this statement, I don’t feel it adequately explains the problem.  It raises too many questions in my mind to leave it at that.  For instance, should parents expect to be respected even when they are not respectable? What if that parent is verbally or physically abusive?  We are told to respect our elders.  Does that only mean old people, or anyone that is older than you? What if that “older” person is a murderer? Do children deserve respect as well as adults?   We are to respect our leaders.  Does that mean Hitler deserves respect?  Wives are told to respect their husbands.  What if a man abuses his wife in a drunken stupor every weekend?   All of these questions leave me thinking that respect is not something that you can demand from another person, ”because I said so”.

A person can find numerous verses in the bible to back up a belief that respect is expected, but I can find way more verses where God commands us to be a person WORTHY of respect. 

“Husbands are to be respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land” Prov 31:23. “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” Col 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Eph 5:25.  Reversely, husbands are also to “respect their wives” 1 Pet 3:7 and “wives are to be worthy of respect” 1Tim 3:11  “Her husband has full confidence in her” Prov 31:11 Clearly, this is a two-way respect relationship and it doesn’t all fall on the wifey J

Parents are to discipline in a way that cause their children to respect them-Heb 12:9 and “manage their family in a manner worthy of respect” 1 Tim 3:4 “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” Col 3:21

Elders- “older men are to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.”  Titus 2:2 and are not to “look down you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Tim 4:12

Leaders –“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Heb 13:7 church leaders are to be worthy of respect 1 Tim 3:8

Christians are to “win the respect of outsiders” 1 Thess 4:12 and share Christ with “gentleness and respect” Heb 12:9

This is not to say that I think we are off the hook as far as treating a person in a respectable way and honoring the value that God has placed on each life if they don’t treat us the way we like.  We should respect our parents, children, leaders, elders, and spouses regardless of their sin.  I think too often though we point the finger in the wrong direction when we should be asking ourselves, “am I acting in a way that is respectable?”.   

We’ve all heard it said that “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”.  Let’s all work a little harder on being a good example and less on blaming someone else for our problems.