I hated being such an obligation for my family. The time was coming when they would no longer be able to care for me. They had already given up taking me to the temple and I had to rely on friends. These withered legs of mine were beyond useless.
My friends left me near the gate of Beautiful today, as they went about their business in the temple. I leaned back against the sun-warmed stone and waited for people to come by.
“Alms?” I asked the lady with the child in her arms. She pretended she didn’t see me, despite the young boy pointing at me.
I didn’t have to wait long before a man came from the temple. “My friend, do you have a coin or two you could spare?”
The man just tossed me a dirty look and walked on by.
Sighing, I waited to see if someone would take pity on me. A young girl came up to me, “Here.” She handed me coin as her smile lit up her sweet face.
“May you be blessed, child.” Her father came from the temple and hurried her out of sight beyond the gates.
Two men came through the gates. “Kind sirs? Do you have alms to spare?” I looked away, expecting them to move on, as most of the others had.
“Look at us,” the one man said.
Surprised, I looked up and held out my hand to receive the coin.
The man said, with gentleness in his voice, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." Instead of placing a coin in my hand, he took it and pulled me up on my feet.
As I stood, I realized that my legs held me! I let go of the man’s hand and I didn’t fall back to the ground in a heap. “Praise God!” I walked a few steps and it felt wonderful! A surge of energy flowed through my body that I couldn’t stand still. I jumped for joy. People pointed and stared, but I didn’t care. I was whole.
* based on Act 3:1-10 NKJV
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