The house was overflowing as the crowd tried to hear Jesus. Four men were carrying their friend on a mat. He was paralyzed. They desperately wanted to get him to Jesus. There seemed to be no way, but these friends would not be stopped. They climbed on the roof, tore back the tiles, and lowered their friend to Jesus. (Luke 5)
Jesus speaks to the faith of the friends
Jesus saw how their faith compelled them to act on behalf of their friend. Like everyone, they had heard the story of the leper made clean and the demon possessed man set free. They believed that if they could get their friend to Jesus something would be changed.
I like to call these friends a community of healers. Even if they didn’t know exactly what their friend needed, they knew to take him to Jesus. That’s the kind of community we all need.
This picture was taken just six months after my world fell apart. I experienced the deepest hurt, my faith was shattered, and I felt betrayed by God. But it was a community of healers that showed me a Jesus I hadn’t yet seen. One who grieves with me, who loves deeply, who redeems what is lost and restores what is broken. I wouldn’t be a follower of Jesus today if it weren’t for those people who broke through my pain and skepticism to take me to Jesus.
Fast forward 10 years to my 32nd birthday, and in this picture my husband had been fighting cancer for 18 months. Just six weeks after this picture was taken, I had become a widow and a single mom. But I wasn’t totally alone. People signed up to bring me meals, help with my house, provide childcare…My community of healers looked like Jesus to me.
Ten years after that, I was on the verge of becoming an empty-nester when I found out I was pregnant!! At 42 my identity should have been rock solid, right? But I needed my community of healers – once again! – to challenge my thinking about who I was as a stay-at-home-mom.
Investing in friendships like this has a huge return-on-investment. They take us to the greatest treasure of all – Jesus! And Jesus has the best message of all.
SO, if someone needs physical healing, we pray over their deepest need! If someone is circling a lie they can’t beat, we speak truth into that lie so they can move out of that brain space. If someone has a broken heart, we grieve with them and cry with them. If someone believes they can’t be forgiven, we remind them of the ONE who forgives and that nothing can separate them from that love. If someone needs practical help, we bring them a meal, offer childcare, get them the resources they need.
We don’t just speak truth – we show our friends truth by what we DO.
I can’t thank God enough for the community of healers throughout my life. Not perfect people, but people who took me to Jesus the best way they knew how.
Annie is the founder of The Leading Better Together Company. As a leadership coach and consultant she guides ministry leaders through “people problems” and helps navigate team dynamics so they can work better together. She is a former pastor and Myers Briggs Type Indicator guru. She enjoys life with her husband, her two adult kids and a first grader, and her two granddaughters.