They had carried their friend a long way already when their way was blocked by crowds. Like a troop of soldiers gripping their fallen comrade following the urgent cry of "man down!" the young men faltered only for a few seconds. Of course, if the healer from Nazareth is in a house there will be scores, if not hundreds, of people trying to get in. In a flash they changed their battle plan and set to again to reach Jesus inside the house. Climbing to the flat roof they flung the roofing material aside and like bearers at a graveside prepared to lower their mate down with strips of cloth, down to the feet of Christ.
And they got their miracle. Their pal was not only healed, his whole life was changed - and all this because of the power of helping hands.
I am so grateful for the people who help me in my pain. As I write this now I can see your faces, some smiling some crying, some creased with joyful laughter, but all expressing love and concern. I thank God for you all. It gives me confidence that I am not alone and that there will always be some who will bring me before the Lord, carried in their prayers, no matter how many things crowd to stand in their way. And I want to do the same for you too. Because we fight a common foe whose attacks may hit any of us. Whenever you hear the cry "man down!" remember that this is why God "sets the solitary in families" and that he has set healing power in helping hands.
Those hands have lifted me!