Care & Love 

A rare theological discussion broke out in the office yesterday. Delighted as I initially was it soon degenerated into the usual nonsense as the youngest member of our team innocently enquired ‘Did they have bicycles in the Bible?’ Amidst howls of derision from my co-workers I wracked my memory banks for all of a miilsecond before sagely replying ‘No. But they did have donkeys….and the occasional camel.’

Not to be discouraged she persevered with her line of questioning. ‘Well what about wheelchairs then? There were lots of disabled people in the Bible. How did they get about?’ I rolled my eyes and patiently replied ‘No. 1st Century Israeli roads were not really conducive to wheelchairs even if they had existed back then. Mats. People were carried about on mats….at least until Jesus healed them.’

The conversation meandered on then to how many humps Biblicals camels had and I surveyed the shattered remnahts of another evangelical opportunity gone awry. I’m sure Paul didn’t have these kind of problems when he preached to the Gentiles. But it switched on a lightbulb in my head. Jesus was telling people to get up from their mats and walk all the time but how did they get to him in the first place anyway? I’ve heard of flying carpets but motorised mats? Surely not?

Our 13 year daughter, Hannah, is a wheelchair user. She was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Hannah is fiercely independent but is presently waiting for an all singing, all dancing motorised wheelchair. This will make a massive difference to her life because, at present, she is making do with a chunky manual wheelchair which she has difficulties operating. She is fine getting around the house but, outdoors, often needs help. We do this unhesitatingly without even thinking about it.

She is our daughter and we would do anything for her; including pushing her to the ends of the earth if need be. In legal terms we are her carers. And yes, we care deeply for her, but it goes beyond that. We do it because we love her. Had we lived in Biblical times and heard of this guy called Jesus who has healing people at will then we would have got her to him by hook or by crook. Hannah’s faith would have done the rest.

People carried their relatives and friends to Jesus on the mats. It would have been backbreaking work on rocky, uneven roads. They would have stumbled often and there might have been the odd expletive along the way. But they did it anyway. Out of love for the person they were carrying, underpinned by a faith and hope that Jesus could achieve the impossible and make their wildest dreams come true. They pushed through crowds, dismantled roofs and roared for people to move but they got their nearest and dearest to Jesus. 

The mats were carried by aching limbs and throbbing feet. But they were powered with love. And I know as the disabled friend or relative rose unaided from their mat Jesus would have smiled at the amazed, yet joyous, expressions of their carers. Because as well as changing the lives of their loved ones through physical healing he was also bringing spiritual and emotional healing to those who had given up their lives for others who needed them. 

Jesus generated extreme emotions in people wherever he went. He was the eye of a three year ministerial storm that went on to change the world beyond recognition. He was love but, in the end, he was surrounded by anger, bitterness and hatred. During those three years, however, he shone like a beacon to the desperate and disenfranchised. They came to him. Even if it meant being carried. 

Please pray today for the disabled but also for those who care for them. They are the unsung heroes within our communities working quietly yet tirelessly out of a spirit of love. Jesus loved their love. And so must we.

Mark 2:4 – ‘Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.’

What are your thoughts on this post? We would love your feedback.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

56 thoughts on “Care & Love 

  1. Wow got a little teary eyes reading this. For starters Hannah is gorgeous and she two really amazing parents. I could feel the Love that you all have for one another. Excellent post!!!
    Blessed Friday to you and your family

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You just said what i wanted to say! Hannah is absolutely stunning. And like you said she has 2 amazing parents who are there to help her in all ways.
      I absolutely love your writing style. God bless you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I hadn’t thought about that perspective, and I suppose that because I don’t have experience with anyone who has a physical disability. I always seem to skim over the “how they got there,” and your post was enlightening. Might we go one step further and suggest that is why Jesus healed them? Because the being carried to Him was proof of their faith in Him. (Jesus always told the crowds their faith healed them.)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This story reminds me of the time a man was lowered through the ceiling to get access around the crowds to Jesus. It took several people to accomplish this feat, people who obviously cared deeply for this man.

    I know people that have sacrificed most of their lives for their family members dealing with disabilities and chronic disease. They really do need our prayers and sometimes, they need us to lend a hand.

    Thanks for yet another enlightening and eye-opening post.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. What a wonderful post, brother. It’s always interesting to see what strange questions the world throws at us. I suppose that’s why we’re told to be ready in season and out of season. It sounds like you did an excellent job, don’t be discouraged if you didn’t get to the Gospel. You’ve planted a seed, God will bring the increase. Continue to answer questions, having answers is more impressive to nonbelievers than they might let on.

    I heard a brother once say ‘I’m not bitter about being in a wheelchair. I have all eternity to walk with Christ.’ I’ve never forgotten that, it’s such a powerful statement. May God bless you, and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. She is so precious, your daughter. I cared for a man with this disease for a year, and he was as brave as they come. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to the disabled……..tears. Prayers and peace~

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Somehow, either by merit of my faulty migraine memory or by simply not reading the right posts, I don’t think I knew you had a spina bifida daughter. One of my closest friends and my early morning prayer partner has a 14-year-old spina bifida daugther. I actually just said goodbye to them this morning as they prepared to start their homeschool day and I prepared to take a nap to help me fight a cold. I am going to send a link to this article to her. Actually, her daugther is in a post on my blog, called “In His Time.” The photo is several years ago at my house, and incredibly this young lady does walk sometimes with braces. She’s standing with her crutches and braces in the photo. I pray for strength and support for you and your wife, as I know how many medical issues can accompany spina bifida.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I disagree with you 🙂 unless it was a joke I missed of sarcasm. Considering Paul wrote a number of letters dealing with Jewish confusion of what was needed to accept salvation/be accepted by God, I think he had his hands up in the air a lot. You can kinda hear it when he talks about how he’s already talked about this.

    The love of Christ goes beyond anything we can imagine. You are so right. He saw the need, and He was there. But a lot of times when people see need, they see their own time schedules, and their selfish gains.

    Peace be still.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! I read it and I was like is this a joke…the one flaw of writing tone (there isn’t much of one) 🙂 I’ve recently been reading Paul’s letters again so perhaps I’m too “in the zone” ready to discuss.
        Always enjoy your posts 🙂


  8. Our Middle daughter was born with Spina Bifida. I relate well. Thanks for sharing. We have 35 years of care giving, countless stories and I would dig through a roof to get to Jesus. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a beautiful reminder to pray for the disabled and their families. Having struggled with injuries and milder disabilities myself, I can say that it’s hard for me, but boy, it’s hard for those who support me too! I’m so thankful that they allow the love of Christ to flow through them and bless me when I need it…and I’m so thankful that, even though He doesn’t walk the streets healing people right now, one day in Paradise He’ll take all our pain away. God bless and strengthen you and your daughter in your journey!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. How true! And how frustrating when such an opportunity devolves into (pardon me but) drivel. May you be filled with wisdom and insight about how to make the most of future opportunities! May the Lord bless you for your strength and love in this fight! Be encouraged! You are not alone. You are seen and you are loved! Amen.


  11. Mark 2 has always been one of my favorite stories in the Bible, thank you for putting it into an all new modern perspective for me. And as far as the conversations with your co-workers or other people just remember that you never know the seeds you are planting in there hearts. Prayers for your daughter that she gets the motorized wheelchair soon! God Bless ❤


  12. Loving this post. My brother Stephen Palmer has Autism and is very creative. I consider Stephen my personal Blessing. As Jesus answered in the Bible to who sinned regarding the blind man. Jesus answered No man sinned but that the Glory of God was made manifest through his disability. I have been an Autism Activist Advocate for many years for Stephen. He teaches me even more than I teach him.


  13. I loved the story of the paralyzed man and his awesome friends, and I love yours too! Thanks for sharing this perspective. Love takes open eyes. Sometimes we just need our eyes to be opened to the needs around us. May the Lord continue to strengthen your beautiful family. And please keep posting and sharing our faith even when you get discouraged. And thanks for liking my blog post!😊


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