My church is currently preaching through the book of Acts. The focus the past few weeks has been in Act 3, where Peter and John encounter a man lame from birth at the gate called Beautiful, and heal him. People who know my past have been asking me for my thoughts on this story, kindly wondering how I’m feeling while I sit in church absorbing this scene.
This story resonates with me in profound and personal ways. It’s so easy for me to close my eyes and insert myself into the story, having been born with a crippling condition: begging at the gate day after day, struggling through life. Then, all at once, everything changes. Two men whom I’ve seen only from a distance suddenly stop, focus their attention, and offer something so much more substantial than lunch money. I can imagine what it would be like to instantly saw goodbye to fatigue, spasticity, and pain; I’m sure I would take off walking and leaping and praising God too!
Even though I haven’t encountered God in a way that has changed my body, I have encountered Him in a way that has changed my heart. Walking alongside God over the years, learning that His grace really is sufficient, and His power really is made perfect in my weakness has made my heart leap for joy! He has made me glad.
People have complex needs. I think so often that when we encounter people with physical disabilities, we perceive their physical challenges as the most obvious and immediate need they face. However, it might not be the most profound issue pressing against their heart. I think we need to be open to whatever gift God may want to bring someone. Jesus gave us this example when he asked blind Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10).
Image Source: http://www.urban-junction.com/ignite/day-72/
What strikes you about this story?