True Friendship

Updated: Mar 2


Mark 2: 1-5 –"And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.relative3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of our. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be for given thee."


 

Word had gotten out that Jesus was going to be at this residence; the simple brown clay crowded house had no more available space for more people to come in. People packed shoulder to shoulder, with very little wiggle room, to hear Jesus speak. Rustling their way through the crowd, the four people carrying one sick of the palsy finally made their way through the roof, lowering the ill man to Jesus.

It doesn't say whether their friend was male or female, whether it was a friend or a relative. Doesn't say how long they carried their friend, was it a mile or ten, or how long they had been searching for Jesus for the past few days or months? All they knew was they had to bring their severely ill friend to Jesus, no matter how long it would take. Jesus saw their faith and healed their friend; he doesn't say anything more about these people once healed.

Wouldn't you like to have friends like these? Their faith was so great; they would carry you to the ends of the earth and do everything possible to bring you to Jesus for healing. Better yet, wouldn't you want to be a friend to get a hurting friend to Jesus?

Twenty years ago, I met Mr. & Mrs. Healy at foster parenting classes. After much prayer, I decided not to become a foster parent as a single person. However, the state agency offered for me to babysit for foster parents, allowing them to get away from the stresses of foster parenting or attend any meetings/conferences without their children.

Shortly after that, the agency appointed my first assignment to Mr. & Mrs. Healy. It was a warm Saturday morning when the Healys brought by their foster child, Jose. Here was a precious bundle of joy, big brown eyes and a head full of hair. However, upon meeting this adorable baby, I noticed something usual with Jose, I tried to make him smile, but there was no response.

Healy's explained Jose had cerebral palsy and additional brain damage due to severe "shaken baby syndrome." Jose was born healthy. However, one very dark, gloomy day, for unknown reasons, in the hands of an adult, who took out their anger and frustration on his little body. They shook him with such velocity, and who knows for how long, they caused severe cerebral palsy and additional brain damage. Medical experts gave no hope for this precious child unable to walk or talk to a normal vibrant life.

(Side note, parents or child care providers, please stop and count to ten if you find yourself in that state of frustration and desperation. Reach for the phone and not the child. Please, reach out immediately to family or friends).

As the day drew on, caring and trying to play with Jose, my heart was saddened to see a lifeless yet breathing child before me. All I could do was to love him and pray for him and his parents. Shortly after our first meeting, Healys decided to adopt Jose. I would periodically babysit Jose while they maneuvered over the months of adoption court hearings and tribal council meetings. I last saw Jose shortly after his adoption party. This little guy still was struggling with his disabilities.

The word "coincidence" isn't part of my vocabulary. Shortly after attending Trinity Bible Church, Pastor Huling and his family came to our place for dinner. While we visited, Hulings mentioned they met a special needs child named Jose at the Deaf Camp in southwest New Mexico and whose parents are Mr. & Mrs. Healy. I couldn't believe that the Hulings knew Jose. What a coincidence! I was overjoyed when I heard the latest news about Jose; he was doing a well as expected. Sadly, they conveyed, Mrs. Healy had passed away a few years ago. Periodically, over these past years, I heard about Jose and his dad stopping at Trinity Bible Church and now Trinity Bible Baptist Church as they passed through from New Mexico to Colorado, but I kept missing their visits.

When Pastor Huling mentioned that Jose and his dad were visiting during a fall evening church service, I knew I had to see him! When I saw him sitting at the front pew, on his own! I hugged him and cried, overwhelmed with joy seeing this vibrant young man! I loved hearing him singing hymns so loud and loving to the Lord. I listened to his laughter. Without missing a beat, as if twenty years had not passed, I felt a tender nudge as he laid his head on my shoulder as if it was God's delicate touch, letting me know all is well with Jose.

Later in the evening, we met a Wendy's. As I read to him, he sat quietly and attentively as I turned each page. I saw him walking, running, and communicating with his dad with sign language and slight verbal sounds. Not only did his communication skills amaze me, but also his computer skills. He showed me pictures from his dad's smartphone. I was a crying mess throughout the evening. I wish his mom would have been there, to have heard her stories about Jose's progress and seeing her answered prayers. Jose has had friends and family praying for him for the past twenty-plus years, just like the man we read in Mark 2: 1-5. I can't wait to see Jose again; God's perfect timing allowed me to witness a true miracle!

God's timing is astonishing, for lack of a better word, bringing Jose and his dad to our church that Sunday evening. I couldn't think of not sharing this experience with you all; as we continue to study Hebrews 10: 24, "let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works." We don't know how long we will have to pray and lift our friends to Christ. We may never see the answered prayer, but God is faithful, and His timing is always perfect! Therefore, let's continue to encourage and pray for each other; either we're praying for someone, or at the receiving end of someone's prayer, Jesus is still in the miracle business. Wouldn't you like to have friends like Jose?

Like I've mentioned before, if you're struggling, please don't stop praying. Please don't stop reading your bible. Please don't stop going to church because you don't know how God will answer your prayer.

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