At Laity Lodge Family Camp we talk a lot about creating space, so  families might encounter God and engage with each other. We don’t presume to know what this looks like for each family, so  we purposefully don’t program family camp to be a course in “Parenting 101” or “How to be a better Father, Mother, Husband, or Wife.”

During the recent Labor Day weekend retreat our speaker, Billy Suess (Regional Director, Young Life Central Texas) modeled well what we are up to at Laity Lodge Family Camp. Billy referenced Mark 2:1-12 as a guide for families. The familiar story recounts the healing of a paralyzed man and the work of his friends to get him in front of Jesus. As Jesus and a crowd of curious followers gathered in a home, the friends of the paralyzed man dug through the ceiling and lowered the man on a mat to the feet of Jesus. When Jesus witnessed the faith shown by the courageous friends, He responded not only by forgiving the man’s sins but also granting him the ability to walk. As a result, everyone was amazed and praised God.

Billy reminded families that we are called to the same work as those courageous friends. The friends of the paralyzed man were creating space for him to encounter God, through Jesus. They literally created space in the roof to lower their friend down, forcing the crowd inside to create space for their friend. Like these friends, we carry the mat for our own children and create space for them and also for others to be introduced to the healing work of Christ. This then will inform how our children, our families, our friends live as parents, husbands, wives, siblings, etc. In many ways, Perhaps we too can create space, by carrying the mat, for those in our lives to encounter God.

Questions to consider:

  • Who in your life (child, friend, co-worker, etc.) would benefit greatly from being introduced to the healing work of Christ at this moment in their lives?
  • How can you “carry the mat” for someone who is in your sphere of influence?
  • How can you work to create space in your family and your home to encounter God and engage with one another in significant ways?