Ancient Pool of Bethesda
“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked” (John 5:1).
Stones that Sing
The ancient pool lies dry in rocky ruin
with broken porches and porticoes.
Silent angels wing over her cracked cistern.
Only miracle’s memory stirs the heart
at Bethesda’s crumbling collapse.
But the rocks cry out.
The stones sing.
A melody bubbles up and over the craggy wreckage.
Joy streams from the bellies of onlookers,
the living stones,
who partake of the parched ruins–
slips of shards soothe their broken hearts.
Their music melds the two into one–the ancient stones and the living stones–
they lap the dust and shower the singing chorus of stones
with the rains of heaven.
They stand drenched in jubilation, dripping with praise.
While unsuspecting spectators thirst
for living water,
standing knee-deep in relics that
move the heart toward eternity.
©Bonnie Saul Wilks
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