Piglet: “Good afternoon, Eeyore.”
Eeyore: “Good afternoon, Piglet, if it is a good afternoon, which I doubt.”
I love that Jesus seems rather fond of us Eeyores. He understands us. He goes out of his way for us, challenges us, and encourages us to move beyond our personal inclinations.
In the book of John (John 5:2-15), an invalid lies next to a pool in Jerusalem which is reputed to have healing properties. He’s been positioned there for thirty-eight years, supposedly hoping for a cure. Jesus comes to him and asks a most perceptive question: “Do you want to be made well?” The man’s response isn’t an instantaneous, “You bet!”, but rather a dodge: “Well, you see, there are all these good reasons I haven’t been able to get to the water.” I understand perfectly the man’s response - like him, I’m an Eeyore.
In thirty-eight years, this man has been unable to persuade anybody to carry him to the waters when they stir, when, according to local belief, healing becomes available. Thirty-eight years! Really?! He’s been there longer than Jesus has been on the earth! On how many visits to Jerusalem has Jesus observed him lying there? You have to wonder if at some point it seems less daunting to cope with the challenge of a disability than to risk the potentially greater challenge of walking, getting a job, having a life.
Praise be. Jesus blows right by the man’s dodge: “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” I am thankful Jesus takes only so seriously our “But, but, but...”