I went to church today. It is the fourth Sunday of this Paschal season and we’re almost halfway to Pentecost. Today is the day we remember the man by the pool of Bethesda. He had been paralyzed for 38 years and had been waiting by this miraculous pool to be healed when the angel stirred the waters, but he had no one to help him in.
Listening to this story, I got to thinking about what it means to be paralyzed. The unfortunate man lying by the pool could think about his condition and what he needed to do. He also had a body, functioning just well enough to keep his head alive, but cut off in a way that prevented it from being controlled by his head, so he could move in the world.
This miracle is about reconnecting and restoring proper order to a human being. For this man it meant that his head could now feel and control his body as it should. He was now free to get up and act.
When times are bad, when there is a bigger disconnection between heaven and earth, we sometimes see symbols and images reflecting this. We may see this at various levels of being, from disordered thoughts inside one’s head, to a Guillotine removing the head of a state, to decapitated martyrs lined up on a beach.
The miracle of Christ is that He reconnects and restores the order of all the parts. Right now, this paralyzed world, with a sickness wrapped around its head, could use reconnection and restoration on so many levels.
May God help us keep our heads in proper order.
Kontakion — Tone 3
By Your divine intercession, O Lord,
as You raised up the paralytic of old,
so raise up my soul, paralyzed by sins and thoughtless acts;
so that being saved I may sing to You:
“Glory to Your power, O compassionate Christ!”
Life keeps going and in addition to regular services in the mostly empty church, we were able to have a baptism. This little boy had someone to help him into the pool to be healed and raised up in baptism, putting him in good order from above and below. God-willing, many years from now, the beginning of his life in a strange time will be part of a great story that will be remembered forever.