«Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ » (Acts 3:4).
When I left the house I was half asleep and the sun was beating down hard. I walked quickly because I was late for an appointment. The sidewalk was narrow and there was an elderly woman walking slowly in front of me. Since I couldn’t afford to walk at her pace, I passed her and went on. I soon noticed another grandma coming toward me at an even slower pace. I passed her and kept on walking.
I was still close by when I heard her saying with a hint of desperation, «I’m lost. Where’s the hospital?»
I had just passed by her and she hadn’t told me anything! I turned around and noticed she was talking to the other woman I had left behind.
I wondered why that lady hadn’t ‘(bothered» me and had talked to the woman behind me. I realized I was in too much of a hurry and wasn’t available to help her.
The man who was born lame knew about routine, suffering, and indifference. He experienced them every day. He also knew about solidarity. Every day someone took him to the gate called Beautiful. We don’t know how old he was, but calluses had not only formed on his lifeless limbs, which rested on the bare floor every day, they had also grown on his heart. He stretched out his hand in half-resigned eagerness, as a symbol a hope which in a limited way stretched out day after day.
When he saw Peter and John, he automatically stretched out his hand once again. We don ‘t know if the embarrassment or humiliation of living a life without self-sufficiency prevented him from looking people in the face or if that day the sun was shining too brightly and he wanted to protect himself from its light.
The truth is Peter made him react. God does the same thing with us.
It’s not enough to ask out of habit. It’s not enough to lift up an empty gaze without actually expecting anything. We need to pay attention, to heed the calling which is a command and leave our routine behind to have that encounter that can change our lives.
» (Look at us! » Peter said.
«Look at me! » Jesus says.
Let’s not go on walking about life in a hurry, without being aware of everything going on around us at a fast pace.
Let’s not sit still, feeling sorry for what we don’t have, wasting opportunities to meet the One who’s calling us, or letting the chance to help someone in need slip by.
Only then will we walk properly for the first time.