First a great passage of scripture:
I've always loved the image of dudes wanting their friend in the presence and nearness of Jesus so much that they became roofcrashers. They wanted their friend to know healing so bad that they carried him on his mat...up to a roof...dug a hole through the roof and lowered said dude down to Jesus. It makes me reflect on if I am that desperate for friends, family and Columbus to be unleashed into new life through Jesus.
And then Ecuador.
We showed up on Thursday last week for a surprise that our trip leaders had for us. Some of the group anticipated ice cream or some other US luxury. But we ended up at the Pacific Ocean and were met by some visitors. Some of the church planters we had met throughout the week. Some church planters we hadn't met. And some of their people. Many of their people. And one after one they went into the ocean and were baptized.
And toward the end of that group was an older woman. She has been unable to work for four years. But she wanted Jesus and so some men of the church picked up her mat...aka her plastic chair...and they carried her. From the village to the bus. From the bus in the parking lot to the beach. And from the beach to the water.
Because she wanted Jesus. And they wanted Jesus for her.
And she was baptized.
Chair and all.
And then she received the words of God..."So that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" he said to the paralytic--'Stand up, take your mat and go to your home."
And she did.
She walked directly off that beach.
So, insert your American/Western Cynicism, Skepticism and Doubt (as I often do when I hear accounts of things like this) and credit such a happening to chance or to misinformation or whatever you might.
But all I know is that a woman could not walk and then she could.
And I believe God still heals today. Not only do I believe it...I'm banking on it...Particularly with a little one year old whose name means LIFE.