This week in church tradition: "The fourth Sunday of Holy Pascha is observed by the Orthodox Church as the Sunday of the Paralytic. The day commemorates the miracle of Christ healing a man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years. The biblical story of the event is found in the Gospel of John 5:1-15." from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
"Do you want to be healed?"
That's the question Jesus asks the paralyzed man, in John 5:6.
38 years of paralysis, and this is the question: Do you want to be healed?
It seems like a no-brainer; of course you'd want to be healed, after 38 years.
But the truth is, sometimes our whole life is built around our paralysis. And as much as we may hate it, it's what we know.
And the truth is, maybe we'd just rather be a little more comfy in our paralysis.
Healing is way scary, when it means getting up and walking away into the unknown.
See, I look back on my own healing journey and I see the place where Jesus said to me, "Here's the problem. You don't really believe-believe that I love you. You assent to that in your head, but you don't feel it in your heart. And that has led you into a life of perfectionism and performance that's making you nuts. Plus, it's completely unnecessary. Maybe even a sin, if we want to use the s-word."
Essentially, he said to me, "You're in a mess. Do you want to be healed?"
And I thought that I'd just have better feelings inside of myself, if I really believed-believed that God loved me, so I said, "Sure!"
I didn't know that I'd have to get up and walk after the healing.
So I kind of didn't.
I pretty much just sat there by the pool, in my paralysis, for a few more years. Until I really was nuts.
And then it was like Jesus said to me again, on a hillside in Papua New Guinea, "Are you ready now? Do you want to be healed?"
And this time, I was ready to get up and walk.
Twelve years later, I'm still learning how to rise up and walk.
But here's one thing I know for sure: I do want to be healed.
And so, even when I stumble and fall and screw up, I'm going to get back up and walk on some more.
(And you know what I just realized? Guess how old I was when I got up and started walking? 38. A good year for healing, apparently.)