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Sunday, March 8, 2015

"Pool of Bethesda"

"Pool of Bethesda" by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Look. Just take a look at the painting above. So many people move around within, yet there stands one dressed in white, granting the desire of a man crippled so badly he cannot drag himself a few feet into the water.

This weekend my boyfriend and I went BYU’s Museum of Art. One of my homework assignments was to sit and look at this painting: “The Pool of Bethesda.”

As I sat down, looking at the painting, my boyfriend read John 5:1-16. As the words were read, I kept wondering why, why did Christ choose only one of the invalids to heal? Surely he loved all those who were there suffering…

Then the part comes in the scriptures where we are informed the man has been waiting 38 years. Christ was able to heal this man because of his great faith. Patience fueled faith in this particular man as he waited hoping for a day of healing, despite his poor circumstances.

Looking at the painting further, I see on the left there appears to be a cluster of people without any ailments and the two windows are dark, not giving much light. Christ is also standing on the left. I realize this symbolizes how the Jews rejected what was right in front of them, bringing darkness to their lives rather than light. In contrast on the right side of the painting are more people experiencing the hardship of disabilities. There is only one window, yet it sheds forth more light than the two on the left. Christ is not with them and yet they are there waiting for the opportunity to try their faith by entering the pool of water when it begins to ripple. It's a classic portrayal of the “blind shall see and the deaf shall hear;" whereas those who are privileged and lack faith also lack the pure light of Christ in their lives, though it is available for them to partake.

What side do I stand on? Surely, I am not an invalid. I can walk, breathe, and see just like any normal person. But do I want to be grouped in with the people on the left? No. No. No.

I may not have the trial of blindness or the inability to walk, but I do have trials. I have a bad back. I struggle with classes. I lose my temper from time to time. I assume the worst at times. I am a sick person.

But there is no worry. I have one window I can see. My ever-enlightening ray of sunshine pours in through the window. The One who can heal me is Christ. The Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. Christ looks after the one. I am the one, you are the one. We are each seen as individuals.

The decision is mine. Do I choose to ignore what is right in front of me? Or do I look up to the light and bask in the warmth of his healing?