To Carry and Be Carried

carry“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.

“…carried by four of them…” This phrase stops me every time. From the perspective of one has been carried and as one who has carried others, I’ve wondered both about the person on the mat and the ones doing the carrying.

Was the person being carried by others willing and cooperative or unwilling and struggling against? Grateful or resentful? I have to admit I have not always been an easy person to carry. What about you? Remember the times of your life when you were not able to walk alone. What was it like for you?

And, what about those doing the carrying? For four people to get a person anywhere takes cooperation! But, were their hearts filled with compassion and tenderness or with duty or even resentment? And, they brought their loved one to the feet of Jesus. I often consider where am I even bringing others? As you have carried others, what is it like for you?

Seasons and Times

The third chapter of Ecclesiastes begins: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…and so follows the beautiful litany of the times and seasons of our lives. As I have meditated on this for several years, I have watched the seasons of nature and how different plants move through each of the seasons of the year.

For instance, fruit trees do not live a81B74EBE-B68B-41ED-8167-D6969E01D023ll the seasons, all the time. Nor do they only live one season, such as bearing fruit, all year long. The fruit tree lives each season with all its energy, transitioning from one season to the next in the fullness of time.

God, through His creation, shows us how to live. How are you at moving in and out of the seasons of your life? Deep rest, blooming, bearing fruit, harvest. Mourning, dancing, silence, speaking up. How do you live?