“The hardest part of being homeless,” a man told me, “is asking for things. If you don’t ask, you will freeze or starve. But I am ashamed. I don’t want to look into someone’s eyes and see what I’ve become.”
The beggar at the temple gate had been lame from birth. His lifetime experience may have taught him to look at people without seeing them, to ask without being nakedly vulnerable. To protect a fragile sense of self, he gazed blankly and mumbled.
But Peter, standing with John, says, “Look at us.” More than the man’s disability must be confronted. The soul-pulverizing shame of poverty, the stowing away of the self beyond reach of the world – these are met by the gaze of the apostles. There is dignity in being able to look another in the eye. In the eyes of Peter and John, there was no shame, no condescending superiority. How could there be? They followed a Lord and God who had made himself vulnerable enough to ask for every meal he ate, every stitch of clothing he wore.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me look people in the eyes that they may see you soul to soul. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Gary Blobaum, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Sumter, SC.