He was sitting on that rock again.
He couldn't actually feel the rock underneath him, but it was big and awkward enough that sitting on it for long periods of time caused his upper back to ache from the unnatural angle.
Throwing himself onto his side, he used his arms to drag himself a couple of feet. Small rocks and sand cut into his hands. Huffing, he finally situated himself against the gate once again.
"Alms!" He cried. "I've been lame since birth. Alms for the poor!"
Someone dropped a couple coins into his lap. Yes! He shifted the money into a little pouch under his robe. Squinting through the sun, he saw two men approaching. They didn't look rich, but they certainly didn't look like him. He expected that they were the kind of men to give a little money.
It was all he could do, day after day. Hope for something.
One of the men locked eyes with him. His heart beat faster with expectation. The men stopped in front of him. "Look at us," the one who had been staring at him with his intense gaze.
This was it! He was going to get something!
Based on Acts 3:4-5
"Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, 'Look at us.' And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, 'I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!'" Acts 3:1-6
The lame man went to the temple every day to beg.
Since he was old enough to fend for himself.
People passed by him, and others stopped and dropped a few coins into his lap. Days came and went where he received nothing.
Yet every single day he went to that gate to beg.
Even when Peter and John came upon him, he expected SOMETHING.
This was all he could do. He had to go and try. He had to expect something to help him live. He had to trust that someone would have a little bit of mercy. It takes a lot of commitment to go and do that every single day, all day, through rain or shine, mocking, hatred, and ignorance.
He could have given up. He could have just laid at home and died. But he didn't. Every day he went with the expectation, the hope, of something.
He probably wasn't trusting in God at this point in the story, but he didn't give up. Can the same be said for us? We claim to put our trust in God, but do we show the same amount of tenacity as this man? Do we go everyday expecting something, anything? Goodness, when was the last time we showed up to church expecting something?
Don't just go through the motions anymore. Don't just show up. Expect something. God has a way of going beyond our wildest dreams and all that we've hoped for. Just hope for something!
V. Joy Palmer