Seamus Heaney: Friends and Miracles

The Healing of the Paralytic (Netherlandish, c. 1560/1590)

I’m musing on Mark 2:3-4 (Jesus Heals the Paralytic) and the nature of miracle in any given community.

Note in this painting by a Dutch artist that the friends who have lowered the paralytic to Jesus are still on the roof, while the healed man has left. Are they doing repairs?

Note also the muscle strength in the healed mans legs. Where is he going? Who is he going to tell?

“Not the one who takes up his bed and walks
But the ones who have known him all along—
And carry him in.”
–Seamus Heaney, from “Miracle” (Human Chain: Poems, 2011)

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