Monday, February 25, 2013

Stretcher Bearers

A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations,
but look what they can do when they stick together!

This morning, I again watch as the snowflakes come down. The sidewalk I cleared after our 14-inch snow last week is again obscured with a blanket of white, marred only by cat footprints.
The cattle are again wearing a coat of white.
A snowflake is said to be as individually unique as a human fingerprint. An individual flake looks fragile. And it is. With the heat of a human hand, a flake disappears almost immediately. But when they are piled together, they are a force to be reckoned with.
My car - February 22, 2013. I did get it partially dug out before this 2nd round of snow started.
We humans are like that, too. Yes, individuals can be strong and accomplish a great deal. But how much more can we do when we come together?

Yesterday, Pastor Amy continued a sermon series based on Church of the Resurrection Pastor Adam Hamilton's book, The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus. Among the Scripture readings for this week was Mark 2: 1-12.

It's a familiar story told over and over again as children gather for Sunday School or Vacation Bible School. Jesus is preaching at Peter's home in Capernaum. Some men have a friend who is sick and paralyzed. They have heard that Jesus is a healer, so they carry their friend to the place where Jesus is preaching, believing He can help. When they find that the home is too crowded to enter through the door, they cut a hole in Peter's roof. They lower their friend, who is resting on a stretcher, through the hole and into Jesus' presence. And Jesus sees the friends' great faith and heals the paralyzed man.
There are several things we can take away from this story. The first is that all of us need stretcher-bearers. ... Who are the people who would pick you up, tear off the roof and lower you to Jesus? We all need friends like that, whose faith is strong even when ours is weak, who are friends not just in word, but in deed.

Who are our stretcher-bearers? Whose stretcher-bearer are you?

From Adam Hamilton's book, The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus
It's a good question. And I think I've had it answered over and over again in the past week. On Saturday, we had a funeral dinner for a lifetime member of our church. The funeral and the dinner were postponed because of the snowstorm.
But, on Saturday, church members who ranged in age from their 20s to their 80s came together to help. Some made "Methodist meatloaf," our church's go-to main dish for funeral dinners. Some made cakes, salads and potato casseroles at their own homes and brought them to be shared by the grieving family. A few of us gathered to serve the meal, pouring out kindness and hugs along with lots of hot coffee.
And there were more hands helping behind the scenes. A crew of men came to clear the sidewalks and the parking lot so that mourners could get into the building.

That funeral dinner is just one small example of how we can be stretcher-bearers for one another. On the news and through Facebook, I've read all sorts of accounts how people have come together to push stranded motorists out of snowbanks or taken a meal to a homebound person when their normal Meals on Wheels delivery wasn't possible.

Snowflakes aren't the only things that are strong when they stick together.
Today I am linked to Michelle DeRusha's Hear It On Sunday, Use It On Monday feature and Jennifer Dukes Lee's Tell His Story. Be sure and visit their blogs to see what other bloggers of faith are saying today.


  1. Beautiful post. And...Love your Radio Flyer. Just gave my grandsons the one that was their mother's that I'v been saving for 3 decades.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Lisa. Ours will be ready for when our granddaughter gets a little bigger and comes to the farm for a visit.

  2. What a great way to describe Christian community, and what we can do when we gather as the Body of Christ: "With the heat of a human hand, a flake disappears almost immediately. But when they are piled together, they are a force to be reckoned with." Brilliant, truly, Kim.

    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer. That is quite a compliment coming from you.