I was drawn this week to a story in the Bible that has both a happy and tragic ending at the same time. Jesus comes upon a man who has been an invalid, who for 38 years has been discarded, unnoticed, and uncared for. His hope had been in the healing properties of a pool of water that was always beyond his reach. Jesus not only noticed him, but learned of his condition, took time to listen to him, and then cured him. (John 5:1-15) After 38 years the man is standing, walking, free!
The tragedy of the story lies in what happens, or rather what doesn’t happen next: Not a single “thank you”. No gratitude expressed, no appreciation given to Jesus for the life-changing gift he’d been given. Later the same day the man has a second encounter with Jesus in the temple, a second chance to give thanks, again not a word. How sad.