Thursday, March 24, 2011


Occasionally one hears another say, "This may be a stupid question, but...." Those who facilitate Q&A usually respond by stating, "There is no such thing as a stupid question." And if one has something inside them that calls for clarification, then nothing asked should be dismissed.

I once read, however, what I thought could meet the standard of a stupid question. Trouble is, the question was found in the New Testament. Even worse, Jesus was the one asking. The scene is found in John 5. All kinds of folk - blind, lame, and paralyzed - are gathered around a pool by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. Evidently people are healed by entering the pool when the water is stirred. One man, who had been ill for thirty-eight years was lying by the pool. And Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be healed?"

Now seriously. Here is a sick man whose condition had been with him for a very long time and Jesus wants to know if he would really like to be healed. Are you kidding? I was hesitant to even allow my disbelief to surface very much because, after all, this was Jesus asking. Surely anyone would understand that this man would rather be healed more than anything in the world.

Or would he? As I considered what Jesus might be trying to show, it occurred to me that perhaps he understood something that I was not taking into consideration and he had not even taken Psychology 101. The reality of life is that while folk may moan, groan, and carry on with legitimate pain and illness, the idea of being completely removed from that circumstance is a bit frightening. If you're healed, you have to be more responsible. If healed, you can't expect almost everything to be done for you. Healing means that you return to the task of making your own way, choices, decisions,and facing the consequences thereof. And that's what happened to the man. He was healed, got up, took his mat, and walked away.

To be made whole is a thrilling experience, but one fraught with all kinds of possibilities. We might step into dimensions of life that we never dreamed were available. Or we might slip, and find ourselves stretched out once again by the pool.

Life is a risk. There are things that hold all of us back. Do we want to be healed?

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