Yesterday was this year's run of the Boston Marathon - calmer, less exciting than last year for sure which is a very good thing! Some time after the winning runner crossed the finish line, another runner approached with flagging strength. He collapsed just short of the goal! The runner behind him didn't just push on by. He stopped to help. Soon four runners were carrying the fallen runner over the finish line.
I often feel like the fallen runner - biting the dust in a moment just short of the finish, totally running on fumes. Who comes along behind makes all the difference! Does he or she stop to give an assist over the line? OR does he or she power on with his or her own agenda in view?
It's costly to stop! None of the five runners completed the race according to the rules, but my view is that all won more than the first man to cross over. They won on care points!
Many years ago (and perhaps many times since) another man fell in the dust. He too was picked up and carried by four friends who even took the roof off a house in the Middle East to assist him over the line. They carried him down the street and up the stairs outside a house to the roof, removed enough roof tiles to lower their friend inside right in front of the One who could give their friend the greatest assist of all! (Their story is recorded in Mark 2:1-12.)
The four friends made the difference in both circumstances! Sitting here at my computer on a rainy Tuesday morning I'm wondering who I will encounter today who will need an assist over the line. I'm hoping I won't power on by but will know the need and stop to do what I can!