The options were not so great. Violence and oppression forced a young man to think outside of the box. Given his age and agility, it made sense for him to flee without looking back. However, this young man chose courageous love.
You see, his aged parents could barely walk and would not survive the violence. He chose to carry them in two baskets slung over his shoulders. With both parents secure on his shoulders, he walked barefoot for seven days from his village in Myanmar to cross the Bangladesh border. Read the full story here.
Love motivated this young man to think outside the box and do whatever was necessary to bring his parents to safety. Love motivates us to look beyond ourselves and show care and compassion for others.
How do I love and care for others well?
How do you love and care for others well?
A similar story of bold and courageous love is recorded in Luke 5:18-25. There was a paralytic man who was in need of healing. One day, his friends decided to take the paralytic man to meet Jesus. The friends carried the man on his bed, but as they approached Jesus, there was a huge crowd that prevented them from bringing the man close to Jesus.
Like the young man from Myanmar, the paralytic man’s friends decided to be bold and creative. Their great love for him compelled them to think outside the box and be courageous.
They decided to carry the man to the rooftop and let him down into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. They believed that Jesus was the answer to their friend’s paralysis and could heal him.
Upon seeing the faith of the friends, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” After some squabbles with the Pharisees, Jesus said to the man, get up, pick up your stretcher and go home. Immediately, the man got up and went home, glorifying God.
The paralytic man received healing because his friends loved him well and believed Jesus could heal him. Their intercession for him was an act of courageous love.
How well do we love others? What extent are we willing to go to bring them to Jesus?
Before you resign and throw your hands in the air, hear me out. Maybe we cannot physically bring others to Jesus through the door like the paralytic man. Are we willing to consider alternatives, like going up on the roof?
Courageous love compels us to think outside of the box. One of the ways we can love others courageously is by interceding on their behalf through prayer. Intercessory prayer is like going up on the rooftop and bringing others directly in front of Jesus through prayer. An intercessory prayer is an act of love, compassion, and faith. It is bringing others to the Lord spiritually.
Intercessory prayer shows care as we identify with people and their need for salvation. We show them God’s love by embracing them and their joys, fears, successes, and failures. We bring them to Jesus just like the friends of the paralytic man.
Who needs your courageous love today?
A prayer based on Psalm 43:3
O Lord, send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead my loved one;
Let them bring him to Your holy hill
And to Your dwelling places. In Jesus Name, Amen
Photo Courtesy of Asia Pacific