It was the water.
People said the water had healing properties. And it wasn’t just a fad, like special oils or the new sycamore-leaf diet that may or may not actually do anything. He had seen people go into the water limping and come out of the water jumping like nothing had ever happened.
But here’s the thing: It wasn’t healing water all the time. Only when the water was spontaneously stirred. Only when the springs that fed the pools caused a natural whirlpool could someone benefit from its healing nature. And only one at a time. It seemed as though the first person to go down into the whirlpool, whenever that happened, would be the only one healed.
He wasn’t entirely sure he believed it, but it would be worth a try. After 38 years of paralysis, he would try anything.
If he could just get in the pool.
He sat there every single day. There were plenty of places to sit or lay around the pools. Five covered walkways surrounded the pools, and he was not the only soul laying there hoping for healing. Blind, crippled, deaf—whatever the malady, the pools offered a particular hope for many.
So there he lay, day in and day out, just waiting for the pool to be stirred and for his legs to work again. That’s all he really wanted. That’s all he had wanted for all 38 years he had been laying at these pools.
But whenever the waters stirred, someone always got to the water before him. He had tried using his arms to inch himself closer and closer so he would have a chance, but someone always managed to get there before him. Someone might jump in from the side, or run into the water because they had legs that worked. He could never get there fast enough.