Noticing the Unnoticed


3 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.

2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Acts 3:1-4

One of my professors at Bible School performed an informal study once. He hired an actor to stand near where his students would be going to class. This job was to get the students to help him out with some of his made-believe needs. Most of the students didn’t stop to help because they were already late for class – for this professor’s class. The professor’s point was very clear: you can even be in Bible School and miss blatant opportunities to help others.

Peter and John were off to mid-afternoon prayer. A handicapped man had been begging by the temple gate daily since he was born. This time, however, the Apostles stopped what they were doing to speak to the man. What they said to him and did for him changed his life.

But the first step was to stop.

We have these kinds of opportunities daily, that is, if we choose not to ignore them.

Perhaps it’s the disabled vet at the light with a sign asking for help.
Perhaps it’s the Walmart clerk who looks like he is ready to throw in the towel because of the last nasty customer.
Perhaps it’s that neighbor across the street you’ve never spoken to.

Can we really heal their brokenness? Can we help them at all?

I say we can and we should. But first it takes a willful decision to start and then to begin noticing people.

The opportunities for becoming involved in people’s lives are endless.


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