April 6, 2021

by: Gabriel Tseng

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been unable to walk from birth was being carried, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order for him to beg for charitable gifts from those entering the temple grounds.When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple grounds, he began asking to receive a charitable gift. But Peter, along with John, looked at him intently and said, “Look at us!” And he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I do not have silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!” And grasping him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they recognized him as being the very one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg for charitable gifts, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. -Acts 3:1-10

Everyday after Easter is Easter. Like our legs needing to follow our minds and heart at times, the process of growing into maturity as followers of Christ is the constant dance of who we are and who we are yet to become. Nobody knows everything when they first decide to follow. Part of asking in this interaction with this begging man is a type of asking for food and asking for more. He may not even know what he needs or wants, but Peter seems to overlook his immediate need for help and gives him the good news. It makes complete sense that as he was healed in a very different way, he was loved and accepted into the company of new family. 

The best I can muster most moments of need is to say, “help” without knowing much of what I need. There are moments where my kids are grouchy and irate, and because of watching them and observing them, an act of love in itself, is to be aware of their needs. I may not help them perfectly, but my presence seems to matter significantly. More often than not, I need to decipher what they need most while they continue to develop a language for what they need. It’s amazing that their language grows and expands as they learn to articulate what they need. I can only imagine this type of prayer this man prays on a daily basis to make it through each day. His struggle may just be to make it through the day. Amazingly, Peter and John turn, like Jesus did with many a beggar, and redefined their identity, not as a beggar for food or money, but as a precious child of God. 

We may not ask in the best ways or communicate well many times. We may not even know what we need. We may not have anything we think is worthwhile to give, yet, we do have good news to share, along with a family to invite people into. Even a dimly lit candle is very bright in a pitch dark world. Even if you don’t feel that bright, even a little light is of great benefit to the people and world around you. 

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