One Thing

“Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.””
‭‭Mark‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭

See these lovely yellow flowers?

These are called ‘evening primroses’. I’ve never grown them before, so I needed to spend some quality time researching them.

What light conditions do they like? What kind of soil? How close can I plant them together? How big will they get? Do they need fertilizer? What kind, and how often? Will they need winter protection?

Turns out, I only needed to know one thing.

They need water.

Seems pretty basic. I mean, ask any five year old what a plant needs, and even if they’ve never grown one personally or planted anything in their tender young life, they’ll say every plant needs water.

I knew that already.

You did, too. Even if you have a black thumb, this is making you express an internal ‘duh’ right now.

Bear with me.

This has been a dry year in these parts. We’ve had less than 2 inches of the wet stuff since the snow melted back in the spring.

That’s almost desert conditions, folks.

Under these circumstances, none of the other info I could possibly unearth on behalf of these pretty evening primroses means diddly if I don’t water them.

That one thing, that one dire need, cuts everything out of the running, doesn’t it?

Back to this lovely little story from the book of Mark. We don’t have a lot of details, but here is a man with a need.

He’s paralyzed.


What does this man need?

A safety-approved wheelchair? Back brace? Surgery? Home care assessment? Meals on wheels? Back to work counselling? A set of encyclopedias? (Okay, that one was a little cheeky.)

I would have said healing, myself.

He needs healing.

He needs his friends to take him to Jesus, since he can’t get there on his own.

And he does have friends – good ones. The kind who would carry him all the way to the house where Jesus was.

But there was no room – not in the house, or right outside it. (His friends are creative. Not to worry.) They carry him to the roof – not an easy proposition, that. Awkward. Heavy. It’s not their house, so they risk being shooed away.

The it gets really interesting.

They make a hole in the roof, and lower their friend on a mat right in front of Jesus’ nose.

Talk about chutzpah!

Now, maybe you’ll appreciate the oddity of Jesus’ response.

“Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.””

Wait, what?

You know. I know. The whole world knows. The whole household is waiting to see how Jesus, who has been preaching, will respond to this fascinating turn of events.

And Jesus, stripping away all the details, knows exactly what this man needs.

The one thing.


He knows, you see, that after he heals him, this man will eventually get old and die. And he will face his Maker. And he will have no hope of a blessed eternity.

Unless his sins are forgiven.

Nothing else will matter in the end but that one thing.

Like water to a plant in desert conditions, this is what you and I need, too.

It isn’t complicated.

But don’t your eyes get dazzled with all the ‘stuff’ you think you need? I know mine do.

But allow Jesus to strip all those away as He looks at you, and sees what you need.

The one thing you really, really need.

Accept this offer of forgiveness with me?

Father, we are so distracted by all that we think we need. Remind us daily that this one thing, Your offer of forgiveness, is what we need more than anything else. Amen.

Published by melodylowes

I am actually a bit of a mess. But in the mess, I’m finding security in knowing I am chosen, I am forgiven, and I matter. After uncovering a history of abuse in my past, I have done a lot of healing - and writing is one way I can invite you deeper into your own healing journey! I write devotionals about the complicated thing called life at, and my poetry is stashed at Pull up a chair and a coffee or tea and let's grow together!

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