the mat

Whenever people ask the tattoo question –

“What would you get and where if you got a tattoo?”

I have never felt like I could fully commit to something. Something that would remain important to me over time and that looked artsy, of course.

I have never been excited about a tattoo until I thought of this one.

Imagine this. On my right inner arm, an off center rectangle. Just four thin black lines.

SO COOL RIGHT?

[This is the part where I explain how cool this is]

I’ve been struggling with depression for a few months now. I have always struggled with asking for help because I always imagine myself being a burden to others, or just not worth the trouble. A sermon, that I probably heard years ago at this point, came to mind recently. My pastor was talking about the paralyzed man on the mat. The main point was this –

Everyone has a mat. Everyone needs people to help carry their mat. And that mat needs to go straight to Jesus.

God is great at reminding us of these things when we most need it, amiright?

Allow me to paraphrase Mark 2:1-12.

This is how I imagine the story to go –

This guy, he’s paralyzed. On a mat. He’s feeling hopeless, scared, confused, and worthless. His friends come along, there are four of them. They are so PUMPED because this guy Jesus is in Capernaum and people from all over have traveled to see Him. Like, so many people that they filled an entire house and are spilling over the yard just to hear Him speak. The four friends thought, we gotta bring Mike (that’s what I’ll call the paralyzed man) to see Jesus. Now, Mike began protesting, trying to say something along the lines of, “Dudes, seriously, it’s fine. I don’t wanna bother Jesus or inconvenience you.” But they couldn’t hear him becuz he was paralyzed and they wouldn’t take no for an answer anyway, because they loved Mike.

They each picked a corner and carried Mike on his mat, to Jesus. When they couldn’t get close to Jesus because of the crowd, Mike tried to say, “Hey, it’s okay, you guys tried. Let’s just go back okay? You don’t have to make such a big fuss over me.” But his friends couldn’t hear him becuz he was paralyzed and they began to carry him up to the roof of the house Jesus was preaching in. By this time, Mike is freaking out because everyone is going to see his broken, paralyzed body and he’s going to feel like the biggest most unimportant intrusion to important words being spoken by Jesus.

But of course, the four friends went even further. They began to dig through the roof. I imagine that they dug with their bare hands. I imagine that the people seated below looked up at the roof in confusion as flakes of the ceiling started sprinkling down on them. I imagine that Mike had his eyes fiercely closed at this point hoping that this horror would end soon. I imagine that when Mike’s friends slowly lowered him down in front of Jesus, there was a big hush from the huge crowd of followers. A hush of expectancy; how was the Son of God going to respond?

Jesus saw their faith. A faith that led them to carry their paralyzed friend to Jesus with the hope that He would heal him. Jesus responded in love. He forgave Mike of his sins and then physically healed him, calling him to get up take his mat and walk home.

I imagine every single person’s jaw literally dropped as they stared at Mike walking away.


There is so much beauty to be seen in this story. This is what I pulled from it.

Friends, if there is one thing that I understand, it’s that we were made for relationships. We were made to be close to God and close to our brothers and sisters. We each have our own struggles, some visible and others harder to see at first glance. We all need people in our life to lift us up from these struggles and bring us to Jesus. We all need to be the friends that help lift people to Jesus. We all need Jesus.

Although this is hard for me to see as truth sometimes, I hope that this hits home with you in some way. God made you out of love. He wants you to enjoy this life that He has given you. Don’t feel like you are a burden, you are a beautiful child of God and the people close to you love you so gosh darn much. Vulnerability and asking for help is hard, but it is what we were made for.

Ask for help and give help when you can. Always turn to Jesus. Only He can truly give you the strength to take up your mat and walk home.

Oh, and the tattoo? I hope you understand why I think it’s so cool.

 

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