Posted by: DCox | March 5, 2009

Do You Want to Get Well?

In a recent Daily Reading from Ransomed Heart, John Eldredge asks a question that Jesus asks (John 5:1-6), “Do you want to get well?” I think the question could be rephrased, “Do you want to be your true self?” … Let’s look at Eldredge’s thoughts:

The shriveled figure lay in the sun like a pile of rags dumped there by accident. It hardly appeared to be human. But those who used the gate to go in and out of Jerusalem recognized him. He was disabled, dropped off there every morning by someone in his family, and picked up again at the end of the day. A rumor was going around that sometimes (no one really knew when) an angel would stir the waters, and the first one in would be healed. Sort of a lottery, if you will. And as with every lottery, the desperate gathered round, hoping for a miracle.

jesus-john-chapter-5It had been so long since anyone had actually spoken to him, he thought the question was meant for someone else. Squinting upward into the sun, he didn’t recognize the figure standing above him. The misshapen man asked the fellow to repeat himself; perhaps he had misheard. Although the voice was kind, the question felt harsh, even cruel.

“Do you want to get well?”

He sat speechless, blinking into the sun. Slowly, the words seeped into his consciousness, like a voice calling him out of a dream. Do I want to get well? Slowly, like a wheel long rusted, his mind began to turn over. What kind of question is that? Why else would I be lying here? Why else would I have spent every day for the past thirty-eight seasons lying here? (Desire, pages 33–34)

man-in-a-boxDo I want to be well? Popular psychology would say that a lot of us don’t really want to get well. We are accustomed to a way of living, a way of being, so to be confronted with change can be more than a little threatening. We have defined ourselves as the cripple, the addict, the depressed. But if this isn’t our true self, the man or woman the God created us to be, why do we stay stuck? That’s a question I’ve been asking as I look back on groups, work places, and activities I joined. I’ve participated in groups that reinforce the false self and keep me a box that I know. The unknown is just that – unknown. And mystery is unsettling to the soul. So will I (and you) risk living outside the box?

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think ghosts will do it after?
by Kabir


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