AS I walked the aisle to Communion this morning, I felt as though the cross I was carrying was made of concrete.

As I continued back to the pew, my eye was drawn to an icon of the paralyzed man being lowered in his stretcher to Jesus. Immediately I felt that I was the paralyzed man.

The men who lowered the paralytic through the ceiling into Christ’s presence did so through hard work, faith, and perseverance. But it was only the paralytic–who did nothing but gaze at Jesus in helplessness and hope–to whom Christ said,

“Your sins are forgiven…. rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”