Hi everyone! Our pastor taught from the second chapter of Mark this morning about being “stretcher carriers” and about having “stretcher carriers” in our lives. He was referring to the four men who carried their paralyzed friend on a stretcher to see Jesus. Pastor Paul exhorted us to look for opportunities to love others with this kind of extravagance.
Through the years, my husband and I have often been stretcher carriers for other people. Not that we have it all together or anything, but we’ve frequently been in a position to show compassion that has at times brought comfort and even healing. We’ve enjoyed that and been blessed by it, but as a result, we’ve been viewed as “strong people.”
Recently, going through some struggles of our own, we learned that we are not “strong people.” We are just “people.” Sometimes we carry, sometimes we are carried. And I have to tell you it has been a profoundly moving experience, allowing others to carry us.
Our lives lately have been blessed with loving texts, emails, and phone calls; with prayer and more prayer; with visits, hugs, and tears; with meals, house cleaning, and offers of other kinds of practical help. Not for one moment have we felt alone or neglected, ashamed or rejected. Only loved and accepted, as friends and family have reached out to us with comfort of all kinds. This precious experience of receiving the sweetest kinds of comfort, from the best friends in the world, has filled our cup to overflowing.