A tribe called Karbis lives In a remote village called Rongphar in Assam, India. It is a forest area and less connected with the modern facilities of the nearby city, Guwahati. When people in that village fall sick, they carry them on a pushcart to the nearby clinic which is about ten kilometres away. Though the members of the family or the neighbours who take the sick by the pushcart are important, I find the pushcart more important, since the people who push the cart change now and then, but the pushcart remains always the same. This pushcart, I find, stands always as the most important element in the recovery of the person from sickness. When something in our life goes wrong, we require the help of others with a pushcart in order to bring us to healing.
Mark 2.1-12 presents the human need for healing and its happening through the power of the forgiveness from God. Just as our life is gifted to us, so also when something in life goes wrong, healing is gifted to us by God. On one side the story stresses that the mistakes of our life can bring us to paralysis. On the other side, it stresses that God does not give us up. He stands always by our side with his forgiveness and healing.
The paralytic in the gospel wants to be healed by Jesus. There are many hindrances between his paralysis and a possible healing. He cannot move on his own. What could he do without the help of his four friends? It was their faith in Jesus that carried the paralytic to Jesus. It shows that we are dependent on one another in order to experience the healing of God in our life. The others are dependent on our faith, just as we are dependent on theirs. None of us has begun from zero in our faith. We have had many pushcarts that have brought us to our faith -- parents, pastors, teachers, etc. Others have also carried our faith along with us. We need one another’s help in order to open the roof of difficulties and get access to the source of wholeness and new life.
On 21 February a German Newspaper -- Badische Zeitung -- carried a story of a group of people in Freiburg who started a social help initiative to help the retired people who suffer from extreme sense of loneliness. This group organises for such people memory training, various games, sightseeing-trips and language and literature courses in order to overcome their loneliness. When something does not work well in our life, we want healing. And often it is mediated through some kind people who are concerned about us.
Inspite of all our insurance and health systems, we find ourselves often helpless and powerless like the paralytic of the gospel. When we need some kind of a healing, we find sometimes lots of hindrances on our way. We also experience indifferent and cold attitudes sometimes. We always need some people who believe in mutual help and show readiness to offer help to those who need it most. Where there is this faith, God always holds out his pushcarts to us. The need to have people with pushcarts is very decisive to keep our society healthy.
God not only holds out His pushcart to us, He even makes himself a pushcart for our salvation. Through His readiness to forgive us, heal us and save us, He writes for us a script, which, if we follow in our life, transforms us into people with pushcarts for the healing and salvation of others. Either we identify ourselves in the picture of the paralytic and realise the need for having people with pushcarts or we identify ourselves with his friends and realise the need to become people with pushcarts to bring others into healing and salvation of God. Either way, God brings us His healing through those who believe in His power.