Sunday, November 9, 2008

the crippled begger

Here I sit beside cold iron bars
People pass by avoiding eye contact
My hand extended, yet receiving nothing
I can describe them all as well as they can me
But no one takes the time to let the association grow deeper

Often children will dare to come close,
But their parents beckon them away
Once a little girl reached out to touch my hand
I stared into her face and my eyes welled up with tears
Her father quickly brushed her up under his arm
But I will never forget that moment
It was more than anyone had ever given me
Her eyes of innocence were filled with compassion

It was just the way that I had pictured Joseph’s son
I never knew him, but I had heard the stories . . .
How he healed the lepers, gave sight to the blind, commanded evil spirits
Healed the sick with a single word, and walked upon the water
I heard that he would often tell those who were crippled to get up and walk
If only he were around today . . . if only I could use my legs . . .
I would not merely walk about with the same empty expressions I see on so many other faces

One day two men were about to enter the temple
I asked them for some money and they looked directly at me
I could not look back at them for fear, but the one man began to speak to me
I was waiting to be ridiculed for my request
I had grown used to this kind of humiliation
It was a small price to pay for the possibility of income
I would tolerate the slanders as long as I had received a few tokens by the end of the day

But the words that fell from his lips were not malicious
He commanded me in the name of Jesus to walk
He spoke with the same authority as the Nazarene and I believed what he said
Then taking me by the right hand, he lifted me to my feet
I felt a warmness and stiffness spread through my legs and I began to jump about
The same warmness shot into my heart and I was filled with awe
Tears streamed down my face as I began to praise God

All of my life I wanted to be healed . . .
To experience the touch of love’s hand and be free
Now I knew what it meant
For the first time in my life I could call this gate beautiful
I would now enter in with confidence