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And Then He Ran
James R Fulton
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It was a pathetic sight. What was once a resemblance of a human corpse now is almost seen as part of the scenery. He has given up hope that he will ever get healed and that his lot in live is that to be a speed bump for Cesar’s chariots.
He’s been ridicule and the brunt of many a cruel joke to the kids that would gather and mock the “cripples”. To some extent, he is an embarrassment to his family. They have to draw lots to see who will take him to the pool in the morning and bring him home at night.
The pool that all the invalids of the town gathered around was rumored to have been touched by an angel at one time. Whenever the waters would stir, there was a made dash to the water’s edge because legend holds that the first one there would receive a healing. No one is quite sure if this is true or not because to anyone’s’ knowledge, no one has been healed in the last fifty years. Till today.
He walked along the road near the pool. He was familiar with the legend and from time to time had seen the people there at poolside when he had taken trips with his parents to the near by city. Today however, as he made his way past the pool, he stopped and looked at the man lying there. Something in him stirred. He spoke.
“Do you want to get healed?”
The words stung into the man’s heart – “What type of question was that? “ thought the man - “Well, duh! Of course I want to get well! Who here doesn’t want to get healed?” He looked perplex at the man who had asked the question. He wasn’t sure how to answer the question or even give it a response. As mentioned before, he had gotten somewhat calloused from the crowd. Although the words that the man had spoken to him did sink into his heart and now there were festering. The man standing asked again –
“Do you want to get healed?”
This time the man saw something in the eyes of the standing man, something he had never seen before from anyone, surely not from his tormentors, but not even from those who would occasionally throw money at him or place a plate of food by him. The man standing had compassion for him. Not just - “I feel your pain” but something deeper, something that had to be set right, something that only the man standing could do.
You see, while this crippled man was a boy, he couldn’t run and play with the neighborhood kids. All he could do was watch and wish. He had desire to be the fastest on the block. He dreamt that he could run with a heard of antelope and leap like a mountain cat does for its prey. He dreamt that his legs might be strong enough to carry his bride over the threshold of their home. But who will ever want to marry a doormat? It was then that the family decided to place him close to the pool and wait and wait and….
“Please sir, I’m too far away from the water’s edge. If I could only get closer to the edge I might have a chance to be healed”
Then the man said the words that the man lying has heard all of his life as a cruel type of joke. For a brief second, the man felt somewhat taken in by an overgrown prankster. The words were –
“Get up and walk.”
Puzzlement fell on the crippled man.
The words came again this time they didn’t sting as much as he gazed into the eyes of the standing man –
“Get up and walk”
The man standing extended an arm for support and to show the lying man that he meant what he said. The man grabbed the extended arm and for the first time in his life, the man walked.
And then he ran.
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