This is the season in which we read about all the miraculous happenings around the resurrected life of Jesus. Today there is a great moment we might miss because of being more attentive to the extraordinary outcome of the conversation.
Peter and John are on their way into the temple when they are accosted by a beggar who asks them for alms (ACTS 3: 1-10). It’s the next sentence that stopped me. Having heard the request for alms, “Peter looked intently at him, as did John and said, ‘Look at us.’ (Were they trying to tell him something? Did they want him to know they were just “regular guys?” Or were they ready to test themselves with the confidence that Jesus had in them?) Next Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold but what I do have, I give to you.” (Was Peter sure of the power of his faith now? He was the one who had been so unwilling or unable to trust in the power of Jesus in the events before the Crucifixion. Was he able to believe now that he was ready to accept the power that flowed through him because of Jesus? Was he as surprised as the man whose hand he took and raised up and who was healed in the next moment – or did he now understand the gift that had been given to him for the life of the world?)
I go back to the beginning now and invite us all to look in a mirror today and say to ourselves: “Look at me.” Do I believe in the gifts I have been given for the life of the world? As I write this I think of the amazing woman, my physical therapist who, with her touch, freed my neck and shoulders so I could see again in my peripheral vision what had been out of my sight range for months – maybe years. And for the first time, I could actually feel the energy in her hands flowing in my body. Knowing her, I know that she is a gifted healer and that she attributes her gifts to the God who is the center of her life.
I may not have healed anyone physically but I need to ask myself what I have done to help someone in some way be lifted up “for the life of the world.” What is your gift – spiritual, physical or otherwise – that you name as given through the power of God in you?