Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Take Up Your Bed

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. John 5:1-8

We are on the road, traveling east to see my Mom and our daughters. This was supposed to be a one day of several flights but is now spread over two. A canceled flight due to weather and everything changes. We will sleep in many different beds over the next week and a half. We will be on the road and mobile, visiting with those we love and miss so much. We take for granted our capacity to move around, to fly over great distances, and to see those we love. Those who have lost physical capacity and are isolated by poverty and illness, may never get that chance.

Jesus heals a man who has been lying by the pool, with no one to help him, no one to fight for him. Jesus acts out of love on the Sabbath Day. He sees the ache and longing in the man's eyes, knowing he would rather be with his family, rather be anywhere but stranded helpless by the Sheep Gate's pool. Jesus gives him what we take for granted, the capacity to get up and move, to be our own advocates, and to see the faces of those we love. These greatest gifts, independence and connection, are the gifts God regularly offers to us.

Today, I ask God to help me be patient with the traveling and to be thankful for all the people I will be able to see. May we be grateful for our independence and our connectedness, the strength and love we have in our daily lives. May we share God's love by doing all we can to offer other these gifts we have been so freely given.

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