My Four Friends

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a modern adaptation from Mark 2:1-12.

Submitted: August 16, 2012

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Submitted: August 16, 2012

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The Four Friends

For as long as I can remember I have been best friends with Patrick, Jeff, Chris, and Deon.  I can hardly remember a time when I did not know these guys.  We have been inseparable since the day we could walk.  Everyday we would wake up and invent a new game to play.  We became pretty creative after awhile.  However, when I creativity began to waver we would get into our fair share of trouble. I am sure y’all would like to hear about that, but I’ll save it for another time.

The one place I remember the most was the spot where went cliff jumping.  There was a series of three rocks that jutted out over the water ranging from 15 feet all the way to 80 feet.  They were called Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell.

I can still remember the day as if it happened yesterday.  We were our to the rocks one afternoon and we were all talking a big game about jumping off Hell.  We had been throwing back flips off Purgatory for years and Heaven was a place for rookies.  You know how guys are when they get together.  Everyone starts talking a big game, until it is time for the big moment.  At the moment it is time to jump, your buddy backs down.  As friends, we are relentless about giving him a bad time.  It is our job to taunt him for weeks.

However, today was going to be different.  I was going to jump off Hell.  As usual, we warmed up by jumping off Heaven and then we start scrambling up Purgatory.

We are all jumping off having a good time.  Then Patrick looks over, “Alright boys lets make this happen.”

I was scared to death, but I didn’t want to back down.  My heart was beating out of my chest.  The good news: I was wet so no one could see I was sweating bullets.  I yell back, “I’m ready…I don’t know about y’all.”  I had just thrown down the gauntlet, now it was up to the boys.  I was ready to prove my manhood.

So I scrambled off to the top of Hell.  Patrick, not to be outdone, comes running up behind me.  Deon, Jeff, and Chris wanted no part of it.  Of course we start taunting them.  “Oh come on guys, you’re 18 years old.  Its time to act like a man.”  But they weren’t going to have any of it.

I knew if I didn’t jump right away I would lose my courage.Like an idiot I turn to Patrick, “Alright, I’ll see you in the water.”  I literally, just walked off the edge.  As I am falling towards the water…, which seemed like an eternity…I noticed I was going to hit the rocks.  I didn’t jump out far enough.  I can hear Jeff and Deon screaming… he’s going to hit…he’s going to hit.  My life flashed before my eyes.  The entire fall, I imagining myself smashing against the rocks.  After an eternity, I landed in the water.  It was one of the loudest noises we had ever heard.  My body and mind were in complete shock.  Immediately, I begin to assess my body.  Nothing seemed to be hurt except my pride, but I thankfully was in one piece.  I turned to look and somehow I had landed 5 feet from the rocks and I was nowhere close to touching the bottom.  I was fine…. I was totally fine. 

When I finally gathered myself I looked up to yell at Patrick.  I didn’t matter I survived the jump.  It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life.  In good conscious I couldn’t let him jump. Definitely one of the stupidest things we have ever done.

I start yelling to Patrick, “Don’t do it.  Don’t do it.”  The boys are now yelling … “Do it…Do it.” 

Then in a blink of an eye he leaps into the air.  Thank god he is going to clear the rocks, but he starts tumbling in the air.  He is going to land in the water headfirst.  Time absolutely stood still.  Finally he hits the water, but he does not surface.  Frantically I swim over to him and he is just bobbing beneath the water. With all of the strength I can muster I drag him back to shore, but his body is totally limp.

Jeff pulls him out of the water.  He’s conscious, but he can’t move.  “Patrick, Patrick can you hear us?”

“I think my neck is broken.  I can’t feel anything.”

I don’t know about the other guys, but I am so consumed with guilt.  It was my fault he jumped.  It was my fault he’s now hurt.  It was at that moment we made a pact to never leave Patrick’s side.  No matter the cost.

I would love to say, we exaggerated the situation and Patrick was fine.  That’s what I would love to say.  In reality, he broke his neck.  He broke his neck and it was my fault. At the tender age of 18 he is completely paralyzed from the neck down, but he doesn’t hold me responsible. 

Over the years that have passed we have kept our promise. One of us is always at Patrick’s side.  We take him everywhere with us.  We give his family money to help take care of him and I’m always trying to figure out ways to cheer him up.

Then one day, we heard the news that a healer had come to town.  For some unexplained reason, we believed this man could heal our friend.  We had taken Patrick to other healers, but they could not do anything for him.  For years, we prayed for a miracle.  We carried him everywhere in search of this miracle.  We continued to maintain hope that God could heal our friend. 

What if?  Maybe, just maybe this man could be our miracle. We owed it to Patrick, at least I felt like I owed it Patrick. 

We literally dragged him to the man’s home, but there were hundreds of people just waiting to see the healer.  We waited for an entire day just to get a glimpse, but the crowd kept growing.  All I wanted was for this man to see our friend.  If he just catches a glimpse, he might heal him.

I don’t know who came up with the idea, but we were desperate.  We decided to crawl up onto the roof, tear a hole in a complete stranger’s ceiling and then lower Patrick down to the feet of the healer. Our plan was simple enough:  Just let this man see our sick friend.

The whole process struck me as bizarre, but nobody seemed to notice we were tearing the house apart.  Finally, the hole was large enough and we began to lower Patrick to the floor.  The whole time he was saying, “Guys are you sure this is a good idea?” 

Of course it was a bad idea, but what other idea did we have?  We had heard stories about this man.  This was the man who could heal our friend.  Some people were calling him the Messiah others called him the Son of God.  I did not care what his name was I just wanted him to heal my friend.

This man, this Jesus, finally sees Patrick…there is no hesitation.  He looks at him, “Son, I forgive your sins.”

What?  After all these years all this healer can say is, “I forgive your sins”.  What about his broken neck? What about the fact he can’t walk?  What about the guilt that controls my life?  I could have told Patrick his sins were forgiven.  I wasn’t the only person upset that day.  The crowd starts clamoring.  The whispers are growing louder.  “He can’t talk that way.  Who is he to forgive his sins?  Only God can forgive a man’s sins.  How dare he act this way?”

Then Jesus speaks again.  He knew the crowd was angry with him.  “Why are you so skeptical?  Which is easier to say I forgive your sins or take up your mat and walk?

Then he looked directly at Patrick, “Take up your mat and walk.”

That’s exactly what Patrick did.  He just got up and walked.  He walked right out that door and never looked back.  However, he did leave praising the name of Jesus. 

We knew at that moment this man, this Jesus, was the Messiah.  He was the Son of God.  If he could heal my best friend who was physically broken, he could heal me of anything.  I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew I better listen to Jesus.  He had an important plan for my life and I wanted to be apart of it. 


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