A Man With a Mat Has a Story

“Sir, I have no one to help me.”

the invalid replied when asked,

“Do you want to get well?

Thirty-eight years is a long time to lie next to the answer to your problem.

So Jesus’s answer to this man’s statement by-passed a long conversation.

It was short.

To the point.

And effective.

“Get up!  Pick up your mat and walk.”

I think Jesus knew what He wants us all to know.

Because of His power,

the power is with us.

In us.

Waiting to be activated by us.

I also love the fact that Jesus didn’t simply say,

“Get up! And walk.”

I love knowing he told the man to pick up his mat before taking the first step.

The place of his pain and waiting wasn’t going to be left behind after this miracle.

Jesus knew what I think we all need to know today.

There’s something extremely powerful about holding our story in our hands.

And a man with a mat has a story.

Maybe that’s why I wrote a book about my journey through grief.

I couldn’t walk away from my pain even as I tried to heal.

I needed a way to carry it all the days of my life.

So I penned my struggle.

Day by day.

The anger, the fear, the resentment, the questions, the doubt………

I wrote it all down.

Because sometimes it feels good to look at my “mat” and remember the old me.

The me before Jesus said,

“Get up!”

I wonder if the man Jesus healed at the pool of Bethesda ever sat back down……..

on the very mat he couldn’t seem to leave for nearly four decades.

I wonder if he ever ran his fingers over it and reflected on the Jesus who had taken the need for it away.

I hope so.

I hope he didn’t just lay it down when he got home…….

and forget.

I hope his mat became his testimony.

I love the thought of him going back to this same pool from time to time…..

carrying his mat……

and inspiring others to “Get up!” too.

Facing Dawn is my mat.

It’s my reminder of who I once was.

When grief was new……

And my heart was completely broken.

Today, grief is different.

Perspective changes a lot in a decade.

I still get sad.

Tears still come.

Photographs still stir parts of my soul I choose to keep protected most days.

But Facing Dawn will forever be my mat.

And I’ll never lay it down.

Because the pages of the book remind me…………………

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

Psalm 126:5

And I never want to forget how far I’ve come.

Since Jesus walked by and said,

“Get up!”

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