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!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. – Acts 3:2-7
The lame man who asked for alms daily at the temple gate, must have been invisible to the temple visitors. He must have faded into the background as he became a part of the scenery. Having been overlooked and scorned by others, he understood what it was like to feel invisible.
It is possible to be surrounded by people and still be invisible. There are some of us who prefer to be left alone. However, there is a difference between being left alone and being ignored to the point where no one notices our existence or even cares. The 'invisible' people in a class-conscious society are the cleaners, domestic helpers, bus drivers, construction workers, supermarket cashiers, petrol station attendants, security personnel, etc.
God created us all in his image. God sees us all as precious. What can we do as Christians to let the 'invisible' know that we notice them, and that they have dignity? In our elitist attitude, we fail to greet those who do low-paying jobs or acknowledge their presence. By simply wishing them well or thanking them for their service, we can make a difference in their lives.
Peter and John touched the lame man in Acts 3:2-7, and his life was changed. We may not have the power to change a life, but we know the One who can. It may not result in a lame man being physically healed, but it may result in a heart being healed.
A touch, a pat on the shoulder, a side hug, or even a handshake can soothe the heart, even when it cannot change the circumstances. Peter and John touched the lame beggar and changed his life. Good things happen when we reach out to others on God’s behalf.
Sometimes the only thing we can offer someone is our faith. Reaching out to encourage someone reminds them that they are not alone. We can share a smile and listen to each other. Looking someone in the eye and offering a hand lets them know they are being seen. In the moments when God tugs at your heart to reach out in faith, He will give you the strength to do so.
I know how it feels to be invisible and to wish someone would just reach out and help me. Give me eyes to see anyone who is hurting and broken and needs a touch of encouragement so that I can reach out to them in faith. Please use me to remind others that they are important and that you believe in them.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.