One of my favorite stories in the Bible is when Jesus heals the paralytic man. It reminds me so much of my story, but not in the way you would think.
The man’s friends bring him to Jesus (clearly, because he can’t walk). And not only that. They go to great lengths to get their friend to Jesus who is speaking to a crowd of people in a house that is at maximum capacity. People are spilling out of doorways and windows. The friends can’t wiggle themselves through the crowd, much less carry a man in on a stretcher. (I am reminded of the time my family left a stroller at Stone Mountain because we couldn’t get it through the 4th of July throngs of people.)
Seriously, these guys get Friends of the Year because they could have just said, “Sorry Dude. We did all we could, There is no way we are getting in that house”, and I think the paralyzed man would have understood. I mean, they tried. BUT. They didn’t give up that easily. Someone had the bright idea of going up on the roof, putting a (man-sized) hole in it, and lowering their friend in the middle of the shocked crowd at the feet of The Healer.
I imagine Jesus was in in mid-sentence when pieces of clay and straw started falling on his head. Looking up to see the ever-increasing hole and the growing patch of sunlight, he and the crowd watched a man-shaped mat being lowered to the ground. Slowly. Carefully. I’m sure he smiled (Knower of All Things) as he made eye contact with each of the determined friends. Jesus was impressed.
He was moved by their faith. So he did the greatest thing he could possibly do in that moment for them…
He forgave the man’s sins.
And the human minds in the room couldn’t comprehend the enormity of that moment.
The quiet miracle of a heart healed.
The deafening roar in heaven as the man’s soul was accounted for.
And it was finished. (At least to Jesus it was.)
The Healer of Hearts did just that. And He was pleased. Jesus looked past the man’s physical infirmity and dealt with the more important sickness. The sickness of the human heart. He accepted him just as he was and on behalf of the incredible faith of his friends. His healing was complete. (And I wonder if the man knew, as he looked into the eyes of Jesus, that this was enough.)
And then- muttering.
Jesus may have been satisfied, but the crowd was not. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind what the paralyzed man (and his friends) went to all the roof destroying trouble for: They wanted a miracle they could see.
When I asked God to heal my voice years ago, I expected (and somewhat demanded) that he heal me physically. And so far he has not. He saw past damaged tissue and saw a sin-sick soul. He heard beyond my strained vocal chords to the sound of my crying heart.
And he did what any Great Physician would do: Triage.
He started with the most vital organ. The heart. And the healing began…
And to Him it was finished. For years I was sad/angry (sangry?) because I wanted physical healing, and I knew He could do it IF he wanted to. And he still could. But I know I my heart is healed because it doesn’t matter to me anymore what becomes of my physical voice. Healing my body now would just be a bonus. He has taught me to sing a new song: the song of a life lived for him.
God desires for us to be whole and healed, but our bodies are sometimes an afterthought. Maybe you get the healing you desire. Maybe it is for you or maybe it is for the faith around you. Or maybe you get the only healing that is irrevocably complete. A heart healing. Something much more important to God than what we think we need. (But it is ok to ask…to mutter…He can be moved.)
Jesus healed the man’s legs- as an afterthought. And sent him on his way.
Healed. Whole. And with a heck of a story.
And “Everyone in the crowd was amazed. All they could do was shake their heads..” (The Voice)
He made blind men see. Lame men walk. But it turns out His specialty is cardiology.