Monday, August 15, 2005

Acts chapter 3

Peter and John were walking through the temple, and a crippled beggar starts doing what beggars do. Now this is the response I am challenged by:

Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "look at us", so the man gave him his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Now, I see beggars all the time. I am sure you do as well. But do you actually look them in the eye? If they aren't looking do you call their attention to your presence? Do you take the time to actually acknowledge their humanity, to interact with them on a human level? Sadly, sometimes I do not.

Now Peter and John said, "we have no money, but we'll give you what we can." I believe they had already given him something, the knowledge that he was not invisible. But they gave him what they had to give, and then something amazing happened. Now I believe in miracles. I have seen some with my own two eyes, but I also have grown a bit of doubt about my ability to pull someone to their feet.

But I wonder a few things about this passage:

Do we look these people in the eye?

Can we legitmately say, "I have no money"

And if we can, are we then absolved of responsiblity? Or are we required to give what we do have?

Maybe we can see God working miraculously in our own lives if we take the time, and the faith, to follow the example of Peter and John. You know I don't have any money, but how about some respect, and then how about some...?

What can I offer?

the rev


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Rebecca said...

there's a song that got some airplay on JJJ, with a line in it to the effect of "I'm not giving you any money, you'll just spend it on cigarettes and booze...but wait, that's what *I'll* spend it on"...

that line made me think again...

thepanhandler said...

Interesting topic to come up as Atlanta prepares to make panhandling illegal.
I have been hanging out with panhandlers the last couple of months, and many of them are there by choice, and many of them do suffer addictions.
I still hold that it's a dangerous compromise of freedom of expression to outlaw these folks from begging, and it's treating symptoms rather than the bigger illness.
Not that this has much to do with your point, but I've been thinking about these folks a-lot lately.

Christop said...

The song is 'Underpants go on the Inside' by Lazy Boy (not sure how it's spelt).