Lower the mat friend? What? Stick with me.
I’m sure you’ve seen it… that one quote/meme that goes something like,
In a less macabre description, a friend that will brave the waves, walk through the storm, fight the tide, and defend you to the end type-friend.
But here’s a little twist.
In Mark 2: 1-6 you will find the story of Jesus healing a paralytic (NIV):
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 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.
You guys I know the healing of a paralytic is pretty darn rad, but I want to bring our focus to the mat lower-ers.
I want a “lower the mat friend”!
These friends (“men”, as the verses describe, but I’m going to call them friends) persisted on behalf of a paralytic. For get about a friend who is willing to hide a body with me… The paralytic’s body needed hope and healing and these friends not only carried their friend, but carried it to a ROOF, dug through that roof, and made it so this man could reach …. JESUS!
Y’all we need THOSE kinds of friends… people who will carry us, and walk with us in our heaviness, and instead of turning back when things get hard… persist for the sake of our best. That crowd was so thick the only way through was to get on a stinking roof and they made that happen!
Now, let’s flip that lens a little more.
What if WE become the mat carrier?
A.K.A becoming a “lower the mat friend”.
Honestly, I don’t know if I would have have been so brave and so bold to have climbed a roof, created an opening in a roof, and interrupted Jesus by literally lowering someone into the room where he was. Talk about bold. Talk about advocacy. Talk about love.
It is not likely we will ever be in that LITERAL position. On a roof. Carrying a paralytic. Pulling up roof tiles and sheet rock. Will we get to be a literal lower the mat friend? Maybe not 😉 However, could there be people in our lives that need us to lower their proverbial mat?
Let’s take this a little further, shall we?
I’m not necessarily talking supporting someone, being their cheerleader. etc. But I’m not saying we shouldn’t be doing that either.
What I am trying to get to is this: Jesus. Those mat lower-ers were not working toward just any task… they were helping their friend see and experience Jesus.
So I ask, are we really lowering the mat for others?
I write this these words with full hesitation because my own answer to this question is… No I do not.
And so I pray,
Lord, birth and grow in us the courage to be bold for holy things, to be advocates for the things that break your heart, to show the love you modeled throughout the entirety of the Holy Scriptures. Give us the courage to speak and live your Truth and not our own. Guide us as we learn how to reflect your perfect love shown to us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amen.
*If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy this post I wrote, Enter Quietness. If you are the parent of a teen or young adult (or you are a teen or young adult), check out my book, Adulting for Christians: An Interactive Guide to Keeping the Faith and Learning the Ropes!