In her novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison defines friendship in this way: “She is a friend of mine, she gathers me, the pieces I am, she gathers them and give them back to me all in the right order.”
It is that kind of friendship that we see in today’s Gospel. Four friends gather their paralyzed friend, and maneuver through the crowds, tear open a piece of the roof so that they can lower their friend on his mat to meet Jesus.
To do that they had to be resourceful, determined, and committed. They demonstrated a love for their friend, and a belief that Jesus could help him.
As we move through life, we become at times very aware of our brokenness, very aware that we live in a finite imperfect world and that we ourselves are imperfect.
We need friends such as those in the Gospel today and fortunately most if not all of us have such friends. Individuals we trust, whose insights and wisdom we have come to trust and value. These are the individuals who can as Toni Morrison says, can gather up the pieces of our life and help us to put them back together.
It is these friends who for us in our time we might call our “roofer friends”. They help us to meet the Lord in our lives, help us to experience His love and compassion for us.
So today let us give thanks for the roofer friends in our life, those we can depend on for support, for help. Those who pick us up when we may fall down. Those who may help us to see the mistakes in our lives and help us to make a fresh start. Those who see the foibles in our lives and help us to make a fresh start.
Those whose actions reflect to us the words of Jesus in the gospel “Rise pick up you mat and walk.”