When I read the 5th chapter of John, I can’t help but feel compassion for the disabled man who had been trying to get into the healing waters at the Pool of Bethesda. Thirty-eight years is a long time.
Is this story really telling me that no one – NO ONE – in 38 years had ever stopped to help him into the water? Were the people of Jerusalem so blind, so insensitive, so self-absorbed that not one of them could stop to help a non-ambulatory man into the water?
I don’t know how often the waters stirred but whenever they did, a person had to be the first one in to receive the benefits of the healing pool. Someone was always quicker; this man was never going to be first in on his own. Until Jesus. He simply told the man to pick up his mat and go…he was healed.
Now there is nothing I’d like better than to go on a tirade about how the Pharisees totally ignored this miraculous act of compassion because it was against the law to carry your mat on the Sabbath (imagine here my eye roll). But I think there’s an important lesson here that trumps my rant.
The question I must ask myself is this: Who am I not noticing as I race thru my day? Does someone need a helping hand? A listening ear? My time?
I think God will call me to account for putting on blinders. I must go beyond simply feeling compassion and do something. I can’t do everything, but I can do some things.