Have you ever read Acts 3 and gotten a little jealous of that man? I used to be so envious of him. Not because he was a crippled beggar, but because he finally got that break that he was waiting his entire life for.
If we as Christians could just get a picture of what that man’s life was like and how that day was so radically altering, I think we would learn an enormous amount about the heart of our Father— who created us to dance right into Beautiful …
Everyday the beggar was brought there. He begged for change, food and probably just about anything that anyone would be willing to toss his way. But no one paid him much attention. After all, he was brought there everyday, and he couldn’t even get there by himself. Everyday someone carried him to that gate; to that same, exact gate. The gate was called Beautiful.
The man was anything but that. Crippled since birth, he never got to roam around and see beautiful things. He probably never wore the finest or most beautiful garments, and the food that people occasionally threw his way tasted anything but beautiful. Most likely he couldn’t read, but if he could, it would have had to sting his eyes every day as he read the inscription on the gate where he was dropped off at: Beautiful. The irony of that poor old man being in front of that gate may have gone unnoticed by some, but not by the Grand Composer of the Universe. For He was orchestrating something far more grand than that ailing man could have ever imagined.
Every day he sat there, but today he would dance away.
So he begged to Peter and John that day. He wasn’t specifically begging for a chance at a better life, but when you are destitute and willing to accept change, that’s often what God does. So when Peter stretched out his hand to that crippled man, that man was made what he had been sitting in front of his whole life: Beautiful.
It came as a surprise to some, but that’s how God does it. The crippled man skipped away and a whole city was amazed at what two willing servants of Jesus could do. It was on that day that the crowds learned what God has been trying to teach his most stubborn, created creatures for a long while now: Everything is made Beautiful in my timing.
At one time or another, I think that we are all like the poor man described in Acts 3 – crippled and begging. Whether spiritually dead or perhaps just decidedly complacent, we are all looking for something or someone to make us what we are stuck right in front of – Beautiful.
There have been so many times in my life when I felt like that beggar. I’ve felt like I was so close to beauty, but just didn’t know how to actually arrive there. My life seemed to be going along perfectly, but something was missing: Beautiful was nowhere to be found.
I’d read Acts 3 and think about that man who finally got the break he was waiting for. He finally became the Beautiful that he saw out of the corner of his eye everyday. And I was jealous. But I’ve learned, Beautiful is a place you have to arrive at yourself. No one can take you there. It’s a place you have to get up off the ground to enter. It’s a place where the deepest part of you reaches out and grabs for the deepest part of God. All you have to do is beg for change.
Philippians 1:6[Monique Michel is a senior journalism undergrad living in New Orleans. She hopes the LSAT isn’t as hard as people say it is.]