Saturday, October 27, 2012

Up on the Roof

Monday September 24th was a picture of answered prayer.  Our second annual Rooftop Soiree fundraiser for San Diego Capernaum was actually a first. Remember the blackout?

Nick Duellman Photography
Seventy or so (not to over spiritualize but that was the number of disciples sent out two by two in Luke 10) gathered on a gritty rooftop of the 10th Avenue Theater and Arts building to celebrate two years of this relational ministry to teens with special needs.  Many were friends of friends learning about it for the first time.  I felt like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins having a moment on the rooftops of London astounded to see, "It's all me pals!"

My bit part in the program was to make sure no one missed the symbolism of being on the roof. Here we stood overlooking our coastal city with seagulls eyeing the buffet.  It was as easy as popping into a chalk pavement picture to close your eyes and be transported back to the first century town of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee. Easier yet to glance over at the painting Joel Anderson did for us.

"Capernaum" by Joel Anderson"
Jesus passed through Capernaum often drawing a crowd every time.  On one occasion he healed a man with a disability.  What's more, he forgave his sins.  Why this man?  He says it was because of the faith of his friends--not his own.  Those four friends did whatever it took to get him to Jesus.  The went to great lengths lifting his stretcher to a rooftop, peeling back tiles and lowering him right in front of Jesus' makeshift podium.

Our Capernaum leaders are those stretcher bearers. They believe.  They make a way. They want their friends to meet Jesus. They take them to Him.  Their faith makes a difference.
Nick Duellman Photography
I read from Mark 2 though its also in Luke 5. The morning after, various amplifications and ways to personalize it kept occurring to me.   Today's paralytic is the autistic. With more than 1 in 90 boys being diagnosed, we all know its the single largest disability represented in special ed classes.  True, most of our Club attenders are on the spectrum with a few Down syndrome sprinkled in and nary a wheelchair in sight. Makes me wonder if those faithful friends from Scripture might have taken their autistic friend in another entrance to avoid the noise of the crowd and the sensory bombardment of wall to wall people in a tight mid-eastern mud home?  There out of the fray, they could sit with him, peel back a few rooftiles to relieve the frustration and then, only then, absorb everything about Jesus.

Joel is an accomplished artist and autism advocate.  He doesn't always make it to Club because it can be loud.  Nonetheless, Joel is more than comfortable behind the video camera.  He expertly filmed our first Talent Show. Tobias Haglund, our San Diego Area Director, makes has invested in a friendship with Joel.  Dressed as pirates they attended a medieval dinner because Joel loves that. Like the faithful friends on the roof, Tobias steps outside the box to say "yes" to relate to Joel. Together they sit at Jesus' feet.

Tobias Haglund sums it up
Tobias spoke my favorite thing of the night. This young man after God's heart shared, "what I love most about Young Life is that it's incarnational ministry." Meaning...Jesus (fully God) became a man and moved into the neighborhood of earth to walk among us.  "In the same way Young Life leaders move into the lives of teens to meet not special needs but basic needs." 

The Rooftop Soiree felt like a block party to me, on a street that just had a cul de sac added. A lot of folks who remind me of Jesus moved in and real estate values went up!  Now everyone wants to live there...'cuz its the best street in town;)

Is there a Capernaum Club near you?

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