February 3 – Compassion – The beautiful beggar

Read Acts 3

I’d seen him a few times around the city. He looked normal enough. Except for the sign he held stating his need.

I remember him well, even after eight years. He always looked so sad leaning against the wall holding that sign. Early thirties was my guess. Clean cut. Not your normal beggar-type.

That’s what struck me. It’s why I remember him.

We walked by one day, both kids in the stroller, headed into a store. We had fresh milk in our basket for the next morning’s cereal. Fresh milk and comfortable countenances from the provision we’d long taken for granted.

I’d used my last few coins on the milk, so I had nothing left to give him.

That’s when I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge, the words spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, anyone who gives . . . a cup of water in my name . . .

So I grabbed the milk, walked up to the man on the street, and I asked,

Would you like some milk?

I will never forget the look on his face. It was as if I had offered dignity in the form of eye-contact and some words.

As I looked him in the eye and smiled, he answered yes and thank you.

Sure, that man needed milk. But more than that, I believe he needed to know he’d been noticed. That’s why the Holy Spirit led me to offer it to him. Wanted me to show him Jesus’ love in the form of His attention.

I wonder if that’s why Peter responded the way he did when that beggar at the temple gate asked him for money.

Look at us! (v4)

They would give him what he needed. Not just money, but the love of the Creator. Not just a word, but the notice of God.

Peter offered this man dignity he’d likely not known for many years, if ever.

Relying on others to carry him to “work” every. single. day. Avoiding eye contact with so many “godly” men who passed through the gate called Beautiful, even as they passed judgment on him for the shame he could not shake.

I read this story and wonder at the gift the Holy Spirit gave that beggar that day. Beauty fulfilled in a life restored.

The beautiful beggar noticed by God. Shame erased. Healed completely.

By the power of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Himself. Alive in His people. Acting by His Word.

Bria Wasson

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