“Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Acts 3:6
Peter and John couldn’t give this man money. They couldn’t give this man the thing he desperately asked for every day of his life. They walked past him on their way to worship the Lord. He, lame and unattended, sat in plain sight asking for help, asking for the one thing he knew he could try to acquire from those around him: money. They, freed and receiving of mercy, had the One Thing he didn’t even know he needed.
Was he ever told that there was more he could ask for? Did he ever dream of a day when he would be able to walk again…a day when he wasn’t given the title of “lame” but instead was one of those fortunate ones who could walk to the temple to worship the Lord?
Day in and day out, he begged and he sat. He couldn’t go anywhere: not because He didn’t WANT to go somewhere, but because he couldn’t. His life existed within a literal arm’s reach of where he sat and was only changeable upon another’s means.
They, Peter and John came by and changed all of that. They looked at him and saw the soul beneath the filth. They saw the healable pain and longing beneath the lame and unattended physical body. They knew that what he needed was love. It was peace and grace.
What he asked for was money. What he begged for was something to satiate the desire and longing for a greater life. What they saw was that he needed healing. What they gave him was a new life.
Sometimes I’d like to think that I am Peter. That I can be the bearer of good news to the poor, the lame, the needy. Sometimes, I see someone who is so spiritually lame that they don’t realize that the miracle is just under the surface. They are content with being lame. They are happy with their arm’s reach, dependant upon another, self-absorbed life: asking for love and help from expendable and monetary resources. Sometimes, I see past the exterior of what they say they want; and I share with them what they need: a dependency and a freedom in Jesus.
Then, there are the times that I am like the lame man. Sitting in my own filth and using my lameness to gain something from those around me. Unwilling to ask for help and unwilling to see the miraculous freedom right in front of my face. Then, there are the times that the Peters and the Johns in my life walk along my path and share with me what they have: the one thing I need and am not asking for…
Jesus. Jesus’ love; Jesus’ grace; Jesus’ mercy. I need it every day. I desire it less frequently than I truly need it. I long for it in measurable quantities when it should be innumerous.
And I am so thankful for the Johns and the Peters in my life: because without them I would know less of His love.