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I wanted to share this amazing story and reflection from my friend which she wrote as she accompanied her husband on his referral to Mayo Clinic for evaluation of his diagnosis of ALS.

"The Pool at Bethesda"

Dear Friends,

We have just completed our first day here in Rochester at the Mayo, or as friend, Paul Canavese, calls it, the Condiment Clinic. The sheer magnitude of the physical campus astounds us. The tall, shining edifices rise up out of the surrounding farmland like some sort of City of Oz. They are connected by seven stories of skybridges and a pedestrian subway that seems to go on forever.

Lovely pocket parks and gardens are tucked in between buildings given by grateful donors, many of them patients at one time or another, and named in their honor. The buildings themselves have evolved over fifty years with newer construction beautifully connected and reflective of the earlier age. Really wonderful art is everywhere we look; the collection honors all eras and genres. These folks know that when it's real, art heals.

Right after dropping off a specimen at a place that looked like a bank with twenty "tellers" efficiently handling all sorts of tests, we heard a pianist playing somewhere nearby. We were still agog over the five large Miro pieces on a nearby wall, but we headed into what we discovered was the stunning Atrium, pictured above.

It was crowded at the time, filled with folks who had stopped to listen to two women, one playing the piano and one singing. As we walked up, the singer began to sing Patsy Cline's "Crazy." What could we do?
It was the first song we had ever danced to and the song we had danced to at our wedding, nine years and one month to the day before.

Randall put down his briefcase filled with doctors reports and test results, took me in his arms, and danced me all over that floor. I have to say, it was glorious! I only had eyes for him, but when it was over and folks were applauding, we became acutely aware of how many people gathered around were in wheelchairs or were with those who were.

We suddenly realized that in that spontaneous moment of celebration, we had been dancing on behalf of the life and love that lived in each person gathered together in that place. It was one of many moments today in which we experienced the tender unity of vulnerability.

From the moment we walked through the entry, lined with hundreds of waiting wheelchairs, we found ourselves thinking of the Pool of Bethesda. We imagined encountering Jesus at this Rochester pool of suffering and hope where we had come like so many others, longing to be near some angel who would stir our waters with a miracle.

We imagined Jesus asking us that essential question: "Do you want to be healed?"

We thought we might have heard him say, "Then pick up your feet and dance."

We love you.
Sharon and Randall

Written Jun 25, 2012 by Sharon Pavelda and Randall Mullins