Beauty in the Tension, Kristin Clouse, Lessons From Acts, Restored by Love

Beauty in the Tension: Lessons From Acts

Bible Reading: Acts 3

As Peter and John were on their way to the temple for prayer time, they met a man at the gate, which was called Beautiful. This man was carried out to the gate where he would find himself a place to sit and do what he did day after day. He would beg for his needs. Each and every one of them. Every day he depended on the kindness of those around him for his provision. Each day when he awoke, he would wonder, maybe even worry, as to how his needs would be met that day. Can you imagine having no food in the cupboards, depending on the others to do the small things, which were big things for him, such as carry him to the gate daily?

However, this day would be a different one for him. This day he was about to encounter the resurrection power of Jesus through Peter and John. This man who had been crippled his entire life was about to get a miracle far beyond the financial provisions he was seeking. Peter and John recognized the need within this man went deeper beyond his need for finances, although he did need those to survive. They saw the brokenness, the wounds, the healing he needed physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Peter spoke to the greater need and challenged him to take Peter’s hand and stand up.

Can you imagine the tension which was taking place within him at that particular moment? His entire way of living was being challenged in this act of taking Peter’s hand. Fear of what those around him may be thinking. Uncertainty of what might happen. Questions of whether he could really trust Peter and John to care for him as others have hurt and ridiculed him his entire life.

As the man grappled with these thoughts, which flashed quickly in his mind, Peter stood with his hand reaching out to the man. I think in that particular moment, what led the man, who sat day after day at the gate leading to the temple called Beautiful, to do what he did next, was the love, compassion, and faith he saw in Peter’s eyes. As the man looked into Peter’s eyes, I believe the love of Jesus coming through Peter, is what drew the man to reach out in total faith. With trepidation, he grabbed onto Peter’s hand and began to stand up.

Can you feel the tension that was happening in this act of trust in the goodness of humanity and in faith of a Savior named Jesus?

Right now, in our own lives, where do we need to trust the goodness of humanity?

With so much negativity in our world right now, this may be difficult for many of us. However, if we focus only on the negativity, we can miss the beauty around us. Now, I’m not saying to make excuses for the cruel and unjust actions of many. We need to call out these actions for what they are and make a stand against them in the ways Jesus would have us do. What I am saying is we need to look up to Peter’s and John’s eyes in our own lives, to those who share the love of Jesus around them, and be willing to take their hand.

Maybe you are Peter and John to others. If so, how can you reach out, giving a hand to someone in need today? In the middle of the tension in our lives, our communities, and our world today, we may be the beauty someone else is needing today.

So here is our challenge today, this week, and moving forward. In the middle of tension, be the beauty to those around you. Let us, me and you, be the hand of goodness to those around us. Let us shower all who we come into contact with the love of Jesus. And if you are needing help today, Lord, help us to trust the goodness of humanity and take the hand of the Peter’s and John’s in our community today.

Sidenote – When the man took Peter’s hand, not only was this man’s life changed but all those around them who saw the resurrection healing power of Jesus, they too were changed that day. Peter went on to minister to the crowd who witnessed this miraculous healing, and many found Jesus that day. Wow, Lord, may Your Holy Spirit move in a powerful way in our own lives and across our communities today.