A Soft Place to Fall

When the nurses at the hospital where my dad had his recent open-heart surgery first began to get him out of bed and get him to start walking they told Mom and I not to try and help or to worry about his safety. They said that if my dad stumbled or slipped they were trained to fall underneath him so that he would land on them instead of the hard floor to lesson the risk of injury.

Dad never stumbled so we never saw them do it, but every time I saw them walking him in the hallway, I could see how ready they were to ‘take the fall’ for him. And I can’t imagine a greater description of ministry than the picture of getting beneath someone as they are going down so that you minimize their risk of injury at our own expense.

Could that be why sinners found themselves attracted to Jesus? He was a soft place for people hurting people to fall. And as he is, so are we in the world…

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12 Comments
  1. Tim September 27, 2004 at 9:22 pm

    Good illustration. It made me wonder why I am afraid of falling.

  2. Tim September 28, 2004 at 12:22 am

    Good illustration. It made me wonder why I am afraid of falling.

  3. Steve September 28, 2004 at 8:01 am

    God is so good to send someone to take the fall for us. He did so with Jesus and still does so every time that He uses one of us to minister encouragement and grace to another of us. But somehow I believe in my heart that there are huge numbers of discouraged lost people who need us to step up and take the fall for them and then help them to rise and walk and show them the Way in which to walk. Is that not why Father would have us conformed to his image?

  4. Steve September 28, 2004 at 11:01 am

    God is so good to send someone to take the fall for us. He did so with Jesus and still does so every time that He uses one of us to minister encouragement and grace to another of us. But somehow I believe in my heart that there are huge numbers of discouraged lost people who need us to step up and take the fall for them and then help them to rise and walk and show them the Way in which to walk. Is that not why Father would have us conformed to his image?

  5. Mel October 3, 2004 at 7:16 pm

    Stories like this will do a lot to restore the good name to "ministry" that it deserves…they illustrate such selflessness/Christ-likeness! In my experience, the "rank and file" in God’s church have been more willing to take that fall even when it was risky…it’s typically leaders that claim to be willing to "give account" for us but don’t really put themselves in harm’s way or at risk of being hurt if we do fall. Too often, our fall will be attributed to not following their counsel, unbelief, lack of submission, etc. and any recovery from the fall will require just the oppposite–seeking and following their counsel, "choosing" to believe, and submitting to them. Anyone else agree or disagree?

  6. Mel October 3, 2004 at 10:16 pm

    Stories like this will do a lot to restore the good name to "ministry" that it deserves…they illustrate such selflessness/Christ-likeness! In my experience, the "rank and file" in God’s church have been more willing to take that fall even when it was risky…it’s typically leaders that claim to be willing to "give account" for us but don’t really put themselves in harm’s way or at risk of being hurt if we do fall. Too often, our fall will be attributed to not following their counsel, unbelief, lack of submission, etc. and any recovery from the fall will require just the oppposite–seeking and following their counsel, "choosing" to believe, and submitting to them. Anyone else agree or disagree?

  7. off shore fisherman October 4, 2004 at 4:58 am

    Breaking someones fall, yes that is ministry…you get a little bruised now and then, but even with the extra weight coming down on you….In love you make the move.

  8. off shore fisherman October 4, 2004 at 7:58 am

    Breaking someones fall, yes that is ministry…you get a little bruised now and then, but even with the extra weight coming down on you….In love you make the move.

  9. Steve October 4, 2004 at 9:47 am

    Since Bev and I stopped meeting in the traditional way and began to pray for Father to lead us, He has connected us with many different people, all of whom provide much support for us and, at other times, we are privileged to provide support for them also. In these various relationships, no one assumes authority over the other but ministry is happening spontaneously. There are no titles but there is honest affection for one another. Are there leaders? Absolutely. There are "elders" in the sense that there are those who we all recognize as being more spiritually mature in the ways of the Lord but none of them are campaigning for recognition nor do they require titles. Rather the need for compassionate leadership simply makes room for them out of their desire to serve others. It is the key thing that is happening between all of us. It can be summed up as first the Lord’s revealing of His love to us and then the outflowing of that love to one another. We are truly discovering how the body edifies itself in love, different ones at different times taking up the slack and being that soft place for the others to fall. We simply continue to submit to one another, preferring one another and praying for one another and slowly but surely the Lord continues to expand our influence and I trust that He is drawing others to Himself. Some stay connected with us. Other times we might not actually see the reaping. We sow seeds and pray. It is absolutely the most exciting time of our lives even with the uncertainty and lack of organization. It simply causes us to have to trust Him more. But we also respond to His voice and give of our resources, not to institutions but to those of us, and sometimes not of us, who are in need. I think that after so many years "in church" that we are actually finding our lives although much of what we once thought of as life has had to die. I hope that all makes some sense.

  10. Steve October 4, 2004 at 12:47 pm

    Since Bev and I stopped meeting in the traditional way and began to pray for Father to lead us, He has connected us with many different people, all of whom provide much support for us and, at other times, we are privileged to provide support for them also. In these various relationships, no one assumes authority over the other but ministry is happening spontaneously. There are no titles but there is honest affection for one another. Are there leaders? Absolutely. There are "elders" in the sense that there are those who we all recognize as being more spiritually mature in the ways of the Lord but none of them are campaigning for recognition nor do they require titles. Rather the need for compassionate leadership simply makes room for them out of their desire to serve others. It is the key thing that is happening between all of us. It can be summed up as first the Lord’s revealing of His love to us and then the outflowing of that love to one another. We are truly discovering how the body edifies itself in love, different ones at different times taking up the slack and being that soft place for the others to fall. We simply continue to submit to one another, preferring one another and praying for one another and slowly but surely the Lord continues to expand our influence and I trust that He is drawing others to Himself. Some stay connected with us. Other times we might not actually see the reaping. We sow seeds and pray. It is absolutely the most exciting time of our lives even with the uncertainty and lack of organization. It simply causes us to have to trust Him more. But we also respond to His voice and give of our resources, not to institutions but to those of us, and sometimes not of us, who are in need. I think that after so many years "in church" that we are actually finding our lives although much of what we once thought of as life has had to die. I hope that all makes some sense.

  11. DOMINIC May 10, 2005 at 7:01 pm

    Wow soft place to fall…thats so well put-and healing to my heart.Thank you

  12. DOMINIC May 10, 2005 at 10:01 pm

    Wow soft place to fall…thats so well put-and healing to my heart.Thank you

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