This is from the bible verses of John 5:1-10. There was a pool in Bethesda surrounded by five colonnades. A great number of diseased, lame, or otherwise afflicted persons lay by the pool. At certain seasons, an angel of the Lord would go down and trouble, or agitate, the waters. Those who made it into the waters as they were roiling, would be healed.
There was one paralyzed man who had lain by the pool for 38 years. His physical state did not allow him to ever make it down to the pool in time to be healed. When Jesus asked him why he had been there so long without being able get in the water on time to be healed the man said, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Now sometimes this verse gets the negative treatment. What’s wrong with this guy he can’t drag himself down to the water in 38 years. Everyone else can get down there. What a whiner, he expects someone to help him down to the pool. After all “God helps those who helps themselves.” Those people on welfare and food stamps, they should just get off the couch and go get a job. They’re just lazy and looking for a handout. All those kids with no health insurance. So what if that single-mom is working two jobs just to provide the basics. We shouldn’t have to pay for those kids healthcare. Certain politicians think the way to balance the budget is by cutting all human services programs.
Everyone needs a little help sometimes. After all, Jesus didn’t berate this man, he healed him. It’s hard to pick oneself up by the bootstraps if you don’t have boots. Sometimes it’s hard for us to ask for help as it can be interpreted as a sign of weakness.
The platitude that states “God won’t give you more than you can handle” doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help from your fellow humans as well as the spiritual implications.
It’s ok to give help–joyfully, and without judgment. It’s ok to ask for help without guilt or supplication.
OK, that’s my rant for the day.