Do I have an “open roof policy” in my home? Am I willing for my home to be filled, refashioned, and torn asunder so that people can meet with Jesus? Am I willing for carpet to be stained so that the laughter of children can be the music of my home? Am I willing to put aside my concern of impressing others so that I can focus on house-altering hospitality that points others to Jesus?
Sometimes when I’m reading through familiar texts of Scripture, one line from a passage stops me in my tracks. Often, it’s not necessarily the main point of the passage, but a truth hidden behind the larger story that the Lord uses to challenge me as I seek to apply His word to my life.
Last week I began a new Bible reading plan and the morning section focused on Mark 2:1-12. It is the story of the paralytic brought to Jesus by his four friends and lowered through the roof. Jesus spoke to him saying, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Upon hearing His words, the scribes questioned within their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus interacted with their questions and the story concludes with the paralytic’s miraculous healing.
There are many truths readily apparent in this passage. One could focus on the faithfulness of the paralytic’s friends. Or perhaps consider Jesus’ authority in both the spiritual and physical realms. Or glean wisdom from the interaction between Jesus and the scribes. All of these would be interesting points to ponder and use to apply truth in our own lives.
However, the part of the passage that caught my imagination was verse 4, “they removed the roof above him.”
In the midst of reading, my thoughts drifted to the family who hosted this gathering in Capernaum (most likely Peter and his wife). What was on their minds as their home filled with people that day? Did Peter’s wife glance upwards with incredulity as her roof was removed? Was she frustrated or fascinated? Did the four friends take the time to restore the roof? Or, in the midst of all the excitement, did they leave a gaping hole in the middle of the roof?
None of these questions are answered in the text. And by no means is hospitality the main point of the passage. Yet, their faithfulness to open up their home made me stop and ponder this question: Do I have an “open roof policy” in my home? Am I willing for my home to be filled, refashioned, and torn asunder so that people can meet with Jesus? Am I willing for carpet to be stained so that the laughter of children can be the music of my home? Am I willing to put aside my concern of impressing others so that I can focus on house-altering hospitality that points others to Jesus?
A Faithful Example
My parents were a true example to me of people who used their home in unconventional ways to love others. When I was four years old, my Papaw (my mother’s father) came to live with our family. The doctors expected him to live for just a year. He exceeded their expectations and lived with us for nineteen years. I cannot remember any childhood memories without him in our home.