The Habit of Using Our Eyes
". . . Look at us!" Acts 3:4
Eliminate the unessential. It's the secret of great design. When a sculptor begins with a block of marble, he meticulously chips away all the pieces that don't belong and the end result is a beautiful sculpture. We use this skill in everyday life, but often in a negative manner.
We have a tendency to see what we want to see, when facing the details of any situation. When shame, need, and guilt stare us in the face, we refuse to look at them. We have an amazing ability to edit out the severity of the moment. It's the diabolical ability to remain indifferent.
The test of true transparency is in the answer to the question, "What do you see?" Is the presence of the lame man there? Are the frail and broken areas of life obvious? Or have they been photoshopped out?
There were thousands of people who entered the temple in Jerusalem that day and never saw the lame man. He was too familiar, removed from the minds-eye of the crowd. There were some who saw him from the corner of their eye and tossed him a coin and forgot him the next moment.
He was not ignored, they saw him, but with a blurred, distorted vision of prejudice. Just a speck on the landscape. Not Peter and John though, they saw him with laser-point sight, they looked at him and said, "Look at us!" They acknowledged his right to be heard and helped.
Peter and John had been with Jesus, they had seen Him have compassion toward individuals. He always heard the cry of those in need. No life was insignificant for Him. Looking at the needs of others was precisely what Jesus had done. And we who are His disciples must cultivate the habit of using our eyes. A passing glance, a sympathetic sigh is not enough. To followers of Jesus, it must be a personal concern.
Every day we meet the lame, weak and broken, our heart goes out to them. But we are unaware of the saving power of the name of Jesus, which lies within us. We hurry past those in need because we are afraid to challenge with a word of healing.
What do you see?