April, 8, 2016

Wilt Thou be Made Whole?

Carl Bloch

By Miranda Dennett

As Education in Zion’s Bodies Filled With Light exhibition nears its close, I’ve spent a lot of time with it, getting all I can from the amazing information it has to offer. It is truly the epitome of combining secular and spiritual education, because I believe that studying our bodies and the way that they work can bring us closer to understanding God, our creator, than almost any other school subject. But what do we do when our bodies fail us? Should we loose our faith in God?

A feature in Bodies Filled with Light is the painting owned by the BYU Museum of Art titled Healing at the Pool of Bethesda by Carl H. Bloch, a Danish painter. The story of the painting is found in John chapter 5 in the Bible, where a man with an infirmity of 38 years once again fails to reach the healing waters of the pool before the others in attendance. Christ appears to the man and asks, “Wilt thou be made whole?” The man expresses his concerns that he wished to be healed, but could never make it to the pool in time. Christ then commands him to “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” And immediately the man was made whole.

I know that through Christ we can be made whole. If we are suffering physical ailments, we can be strengthened through Christ. I have been fortunate enough to avoid many medical issues in my lifetime, but I like to expand this theory to apply to all of the weaknesses we face in mortality. We may feel inadequate to achieve great things, struggle academically, or face problems in the relationships in our lives. I am grateful that Bodies Filled With Light reminds us that, even though we may face sickness and grief (a natural side effect of mortality), our weaknesses are never too great for the God who created us. Even the man at the pool of Bethesda, who so many had overlooked, did not go unnoticed by Christ. He reaches out for the one, knows the count of hairs on our heads, and loves us enough to be our advocate with the Father, even when we fail Him. I am grateful to have a testimony of a God who loves me enough to give me a body and send me to mortality to be tried and tested, so I can ultimately return to Him again.