Several months ago I wrote about friends and how important it is to surround yourself with people who know, love and support you. Well, it’s time for me to reiterate that lesson, I see.

I was reading to my son from his Baby Boys’ Bible and I came to the story of the man who was healed by Jesus after his friends lowered him through the roof of a house where Jesus was staying.

It got me to thinking. The man’s friends wanted his healing. They loved him so much that they carried him to see Jesus…and when the crowd was too thick to walk through they didn’t wait, they didn’t push and shove, nor did they give up. Instead, these friends – tired and worn from carrying their friend so far already – hoisted their boy up onto the roof, cut a hole and lowered him down through it so he could get his healing.

Nowhere in the bible does it say that these friends were blessed for their deeds. It doesn’t say the man hooked them up or blessed them for taking care of him when he couldn’t take care of himself. It doesn’t even say that he thanked his friends (or Jesus).

These friends loved this man so much that were willing to carry him when he couldn’t walk; they were willing to press beyond physical limitations and do the work needed to get him where he needed to be to receive his blessing even after they had already done so much. Now, those are friends.

And of course, it got me to thinking. Who’s carrying me? Have I surrounded myself with people who love me enough to carry me even when I can’t carry myself? Am I in the presence of those who love me enough to want my blessing for me more than I want it for myself? Do I know folks who are willing to put in the work when I can’t (or won’t) so that I never stop moving forward – even when I’M not moving?

Thank God, I can say yes. Most of these people are not my family, they’re my friends. These are people I’ve grown up with; we’ve been through some things together. These not the people who knew me when I started getting my life right, these are the folks who’ve seen me fall on my face and dragged me back to my feet when I didn’t want to get back up.

This story doesn’t talk about this man’s brothers or uncles or cousins or relatives; there is no mention of friends and family. No, these guys are all his brothers from other mothers. They’re only relation is a love that bonds them.

Yes, my friends are people on whom I can count, call and depend to come through. There is something empowering about knowing people have your back – and your front and sides if that’s what you need. That they’ll hold you down, by lifting you up and carrying you if that’s what the situation calls for.

So…who’s carrying you?