Ordinary people doing extraordinary stuff


I am not sure why God Soft Hands Jesus is taking me on this new journey. One wherein fragments matter. Details light up. Where the Word is a word I have not noticed before. Where the word is The Word I have not seen before. Like this morning.

“And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed.”

Makes no sense.

“And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town. And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he then said to the paralytic – “Stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.” Matthew 9:1-8

Another healing, another verbal fisticuffs with the scribes, another “did He or didn’t He” say He is God … all of that “normal stuff”. Except for today.

“And just then some people … “ makes no sense as translated here. So off to Mounce:

“And some people brought to him a paralyzed man lying on a stretcher.”

And GSHJ just parked both of us there. “Look at that, Paul. Do you see? Do you see what I saw – do YOU see THEIR faith? Not the man on the bed – do you see THEIR faith! Wow!”

Facebook is full of memes. WordPress is full of inspirational thoughts. I write them (although not as concisely). We all say the words … “take it to the Lord in prayer, don’t worry you are in God’s hands, why fret when Our Lord knows even the hairs of your head …” All that “don’t worry be happy” stuff.

And this morning I wonder… just how often does the Lord go “Wow!” when we do? Just how often does that Facebook meme or that WordPress thought or that shared verse or that repeated church speak punch-line … just how often does any of that make GSHJ stop in His tracks?

“And some people brought to him a paralyzed man lying on a stretcher.”

That is what I call “investment of faith” – I may be turned away, I may be laughed at, I may be scorned by others, I may be this or that or the other … And even if none of those things happen, how do I know in advance that Jesus will see in me what I see in me … ? How do I know …?

And the answer is “they didn’t” and I don’t either. And yet they still ACTED in faith. In love. For each other. With each other.

“Look at that, Paul. Do you see? Do you see what I saw – do YOU see THEIR faith? Not the man on the bed – do you see THEIR faith! Wow!”

Ordinary Joes all of them – not even named, counted or catalogued. No five minutes of fame. Just the postscript: “And he stood up and went to his home.”

His mates don’t even get a mention! Ordinary people doing extraordinary stuff. And we don’t even get to know who they are.  Just imagine if we each had that investment of faith – if we did not need to “know” before we acted – each one of us. If we did not need to be recorded and rewarded – if we LIVED this faith we all talk about so passionately.

I keep seeing this phrase: “The power of prayer.”

But what about the “power of a living faith” that does not need, does not fear, or ever keep count. A living faith that lives, breathes and acts. Without anything extra added on – the stuff we call “reassurance” – the memes – the “inspiration”. A living faith that is the same as breathing, sleeping, eating, drinking, doing life and living – a faith that “just is” as living as that.

How often do we “see that faith” in each other … ?

Ordinary Joes. He keeps showing me ordinary people doing extraordinary stuff.  Now why is that I wonder?

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