Serving the Real Need
At the end of February, JSAW got a unique opportunity to serve a local treatment center through our Friday night recovery Bible study. We brought a group of nine guys out to Buck Hill. Of these nine, three of them had never stepped on a board. This presented a chance for myself and our small group leader Jesse to do some coaching and serve. At first, things seemed to be crazy. We bumbled around grabbing rentals and exchanging names and headed to the bunny hill. Here we worked on basic balance, stopping and the ever present rule to "lean up hill!" Then we maneuvered our way to the magic carpet to tackle the first green run.
At the top we strapped in, hoisted ourselves up and set out to crush it. This however, took the entire time to accomplish for one lone rider. It was through this that I had an opportunity to share Jesus. As we made our way slowly but surely down the hill he became greatly discouraged. He did not understand how his buddy could sail past him continuously yet he kept falling. I taught him the importance of centered weight and bent knees and after a few more times, he was able to make it mostly down the hill. Each time he got better and more confident. With each trip up the lift I got to share something encouraging or spiritually impactful. We chatted about how he ended up in treatment and how long he had been there. We talked about the importance of a persistent faith when the world tells us the opposite. Overall it was quite a blast riding with him and seeing him succeed in what we set out to do.
Jesus went out of his way to serve people in unique ways. This is clear when you look at Mark 2:1-12. Jesus was surrounded by people who wanted to hear what he had to say. Some guys heard about this and knew Jesus could heal their friend. They were so persistent in getting him to Jesus that they dismantled the roof over Jesus‘ head and lowered their friend down. After the man was on the ground and everything is clearly disrupted, Jesus would have had every right to call those guys fools as the crowd around him was doing. But instead, 'he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven.”' Jesus stopped everything he was doing and met the need. Notice, it does not say, "Son you are healed." Jesus drew attention to the real need; his spiritual need. I have to imagine thoughts of annoyance, irritation, frustration crossed Jesus mind, but he chose to serve anyway. Jesus model of ministry does not always make sense, but when you participate in it, He always makes it worth it. Serving riders, even when it seems less than ideal is always worth it. As Jesse and I made our way back to the car after our goodbyes and such, we both had the joy of the Lord ebbing from us. We had truly served that spiritual need. The Lord had been present on the hill that night and that made every cold, slow, painful lap worth it.
JSAW has many ways to serve riders like this. We are training and equipping riders on how to walk and act like Jesus. If you would like to find out more about this or even join our current volunteer teams check out jsaw.org/volunteer for more info.