I just finished reading a story in the Gospel of Mark(2:16), where Jesus is visiting a home and so many people come to see him that the house becomes a fire hazard because even the front door is blocked. Four men arrive carrying their friend, a paralytic, on a stretcher desiring Jesus to heal him. When they realize that reaching Jesus is impossible they become innovative and create another port of entry. Climbing on top of the roof they hoist the stretcher up, tear away the thatched roof and lower their friend down to Jesus. Now I have to think even Jesus is a little stunned to see this man floating down through the air, landing in front of him. The friends and the disabled man have done their part; made a way out of no way and now are expecting Jesus to do his part. And he does.
So I was thinking about the importance of surrounding myself with the right people. People who believe in me and, most importantly, faithful people who believe God will take care of us in our time of need. When I elevate my human nature and become impatient about life, my friends remind me I am tethered to the Rock of my Salvation. I’m not doubting God but wanting something before it’s ready to be given or maybe even doubting myself.
I’m a blessed woman to have faithful friends in my life. In fact I have five prayer warriors, women I have gathered throughout my life who have always been by my side lifting me in prayer; especially when I can’t pray for myself. Fortunately these warriors are in different time zones so I can reach out to one of them at any time. Text messaging has become a wonderful addition to our communication as I can simple text – “call me when you have a moment.” Or even more urgently, “please call ASAP.” I typically receive a call with ten minutes.
Last weekend I saw the movie Hidden Figures, about the intricate involvement of African American women in the space race. The title is a double entendre; first, their contribution has not been recognized or even acknowledged nationally until President Obama awarded Katherine Johnson the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom – and now a movie. Second, Mrs. Johnson develops a new way of arranging the mathematical formulas that leads to resolving logistical issues with the space capsule, carrying John Glenn on his re-entry to earth.
The story is about three women and how they support each other at work, in their personal lives and next to each other in the pew on Sunday mornings.
Having committed friends who are willing to rip the roof off a house, stand with you when the world is discounting you or pick up the phone when you’re having an anxious moment is a gift from God. With our country moving in an uncertain direction I pray we all have such companions in our lives.