“And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.'” (Acts 3:4)
I must admit, there are many times I have read over verses hundreds of times before I notice something significant. I am not sure how many times I have read and studied the healing of the lame man found in Acts 3. But, until recently, I had read right over Acts 3:4. Imagine a poor beggar whose friends brought him to the Beautiful Gate every day, just so this man could beg for enough alms to get him through the day. This man was likely very well known to those who came to the temple with any sort of regularity. This man or his friends probably thought that a very visible entrance to the temple would present the greatest opportunity to capitalize on the generosity of others. After all, the ones passing by were temple-goers. There was a good chance they were on the way to give alms at the temple. There is something in the interaction between Peter and this man that strikes me. Peter told this man to look at him, to lock eyes with him. How often had this poor man sat at this gate begging for his life, only to have people pass him by or cast alms at his feet without ever looking him in the face? As generous as their gestures might have been, it seems so impersonal. We have opportunities to help people on a daily basis, but if we are not careful we may pass by without ever really looking need in the eye. The next time opportunity comes our way, let’s lock eyes with the one in need and allow them to see compassion in our souls.
“Merciful God, thank you for meeting our every need through Jesus. Thank you for presenting us with opportunities to help those in need. Help us to look upon them and care for them as you do for us. May our eyes reveal Jesus living in us, looking for those with whom we can share your love and goodness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”