Friday, February 3, 2012

The Journey 34: Transformation in the life of sick and suffering

Read: Mark 2: 1-12
Key Verse: I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of slimly pit, out of the mud and  mire, he set my feet on rock” [ Psalms 40:1-2]

                  A young boy along with his father was walking along the road. Suddenly they saw a shop that was selling small puppies. The boy who had a fascination for dogs, asked his dad whether he could buy a puppy for him. The dad agreed and they came to the shop to make the selection. All the puppies that the shopkeeper had was very young, hardly a month old. Looking at all the puppies, the boy finally selected one of the puppies that he wanted. But when he told the shopkeeper about his choice, the shopkeeper told the boy that he cannot buy that particular puppy and that was not for sale. On enquiring the shopkeeper said to the boy that the puppy was lame in one leg and hence it would not be a good pet for him. But the boy was persistent at his choice and wanted the same puppy that he selected. The shopkeeper tried to reason out with the young kid, but the boy would not reason out. Finally the young lad lifted up his short pants and showed the shopkeeper the braces that he wore in his legs. He said “ Sir I  am  also a physically challenged person and, and hence I know the  pain that of another physically challenged person or be it an animal”. Have you ever understood or try to understand the intensity of pain that another person goes through?
                      On Friday’s we meditate on how we can bring transformation in the life of the sick and the suffering people. This week we start on a new passage for our devotion. The passage is taken from the gospel of Mark 2. There are many aspects of life that has been dealt in this particular incident. The aspect of suffering, the aspect of redemption, the beauty of fellowship everything brought out in one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible. But what is most striking is the role played by the friends of the sick person who is lying on the mat, totally challenged physically. One of the aspects that Jesus commended the friends of this physically challenged person is the faith that they show [ Mark 2:5].  What makes them to take this desperate step of faith?. I presume that they all have been very close and would have observed from close corners, the suffering  of their  friend. They might have taken turns to be with him and help him out in his daily duties. When you experience pain from such a close quarters, it is then you want to help that person to alleviate his pain. It is here that they become the channels of transformation in the life of the paralyzed person. What the society and the church needs are  people who are not bystanders and be mute witness to the suffering of others, on the contrary get down to life of the suffering people so that we experience first hand the pain and the suffering of these people. That is what Jesus has taught us also. Let us take a decision that from today onward, we shall do whatever we can so that we also become a part and parcel in the lives of the people who suffer, so that their life is transformed by our presence and God’s grace that will flow through our lives to them, thus paving way for helping them to overcome the suffering that they are experiencing in their life.
A bystander in the suffering of others or dynamic, redemptive  presence in their midst?
For Further Study:  Exodus 3,Isaiah 56
Let us Pray: Dear God you taught us to be with the people who suffer so that our presence gives them peace and comfort. Give us your grace and strength to do the same. Amen