After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" 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 making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me." Jesus said to him, "Stand up, take your mat and walk." At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, "It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat." But he answered them, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Take up your mat and walk.'" They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take it up and walk’?" Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you." The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.
But Jesus answered them, "My Father is still working, and I also am working." For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God. John 5:1-18
I have had some experience with not being able to walk, and not being able to get up without great pain and assistance. Never have I been permanently paralyzed, but after 4 back surgeries, and degenerative problems, I have great empathy for the man waiting on the pool with no help. There are many people in this world who have no way to get better, no way to have access to the help and touch that they need to be made well.
Jesus comes into to scene, as people scurry to get their person into the moving pool. The pool, when it was stirred, was said to be moving by an angelic touch and therefore there would be healing. The man was stranded without help when Jesus found him. The Incarnate one, the loving presence of God, made him well that day. He found not only could he get up, but he could roll up his bed, and walk without hesitation and discomfort. He wanted everyone to know. And we, who have found healing, transformation and renewal in the near presence of the Incarnate love of God, we too want to share that. And God invites us to not wait for folks to come to us, since they may not be able, but to walk into the world, to the places of greatest need.
Today, I ask God to help me move from waiting to action, from prayer to reaching out. May we all be transformed by the near presence of God as we walk in the world of desperation and pain.