Christian James Lapp

I recount here a story* that once I was told        (*John 5:1-9)
Of a man at Bethesda in Jerusalem of old,
    Where impotent gathered,
    And blind, halt, and withered –
A sad, hurting multitude, all in small bundles rolled.

Thirty-eight years of pain he had suffered, and woe,
His bed his only home, with no other place to go;
    ‘Today the angel flies,
    Today perchance he’ll rise!
Too long he has yearned that full healing he’ll know!’

Then came One like an angel – ‘twas the Lord, he could tell;
Those compassionate eyes knew his suffering full well.
    “Wilt thou be made whole?”
    Spoken straight to his soul,
Warm words coaxing spirit from weak, broken shell.

“Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled,
To put me into the pool; and with pain I am doubled:
    Another, stepping before me,
    Doth healing soon see!” –
His deep hurting excuses with sadness were coupled!

        Then these words the Lord said;
        Oh, what shock!
        “Friend! Rise from thy bed…
        And walk!”

‘Twas a few years ago that my suffering began;
From doctors to hospitals to therapy we ran;
    ‘Today the angel flies,
    Today perchance I’ll rise!
Too long I have yearned for that full healing plan!’

Then one morning came He whose face I knew well –
The same Lord Who’d fully conquered all hosts of hell!
    “Wilt thou be made whole?”
    Spoken straight to my soul,
Warm words coaxing spirit from weak, broken shell.

No excuses I’ll give; for this moment I’ve waited –
My Maker Himself! See my face, so elated!!
    Daddy, I’ll miss you!
    Mommy, you too!
But, for this very time and purpose was I created.

        These words to me He said,
        Oh, what shock!
        “Christian! Rise from thy bed…
        And walk!”

Now raptured, in heaven I run, dance and skip;
My sojourn on earth, just a brief love-filled trip;
    One message He gives me
    That you too may see –
The Master still calls! Will you let His words slip?

So long on your bed of sin, suffering, and woe
You’ve lain, tired and weary, with no place to go;
    Surrender your life today,
    He’s already made the way;
Then you too will others this new, living way show.

        These words to you He has said,
        Oh, what shock!
        “Christian! Rise from thy bed…
        And walk!”
        “Christian! Rise from thy bed…
        And walk!”

~ Santosh David Poonen ~
February 25, 2008
(in memory of Christian James Lapp)