Yesterday I was slowly picking my way through the book of John 5:1-16. It is a story about a pool in Jerusalem, named Bethesda, where a "multitude of invalids" 'occupy' and wait...hoping that an angel will come by and agitate the waters. (I guess a modern day equivalent would be that someone would come by and turn the jacuzzi on!) The belief surrounding the pool, is that when the waters are stirred they will possess healing power for the one who manages to dip into them first. So Jesus comes upon this scene, and he picks out a guy who has been laying by the pool for 38 years, and asks him a question. He asks, "Do you want to be healed?" And the invalid replies that he doesn't have anyone to help him, so he is never able to get into the water first. I can only assume that Jesus, being Jesus, is a good, compassionate listener. But Jesus replies (with what is sort of a non-sequitur) and says, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." The next thing that happens in the story is not what I expect. I expected rejoicing that the man is healed. I expected rejoicing that the man was 'empowered' to participate in his own healing. I expected rejoicing that someone is able to contribute to the society rather than ask for hand-outs. Nope. The authorities asked the man what the heck was going on. They wanted to find the guy who broke the law. It was "unlawful to work on the Sabbath". But FIVE TIMES in this short passage it says to "take up your bed and walk". Is it suggesting that we 'participate' in our own healing. The immigrant pictured above, is attempting to do just that!