Tuesday, March 02, 2004


One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.
- Acts 3:1-2

I am tempted to have a t-shirt printed up with two words on it....SLOW DOWN!

Each day as I walk I find myself shouting those words as I flap my arms up and down like some sort of mutant strain of ostrich when cars, trucks and minivans go speeding by me down residential streets. Today was no exception. The streets are wet making it all the more dangerous. I'm sure I'm gaining a reputation in the neighborhood as the crazy walking guy who yells at passing cars.

Yet my desire for these passing motorists to slow down is rooted in more than simply my own sense of self preservation. These people are missing a lot.

During my walk today, I looked, and saw a man with an airplane in his garage. It was an unusual sight. I don't live in a neighborhood where many people have propeller driven aircraft in their garages, in fact I'm willing to wager he's the only one.

I listened, and heard children laughing.

I marveled at seven blackbirds on the crest of one roof.

I smiled as a young boy explained to his even younger brother about the hand weights I was carrying, and tried very hard to carry them with authority so as not to minimize his brotherly expertise.

I breathed - deep breaths, smelling the hint of rain.

I tasted the moisture in the air.

I'm glad I didn't miss these things.

I'm reading the books of Acts over Lent, a bit more deliberately than in the past. Today I read chapter three, the familiar story of Peter healing a crippled beggar. I'm pleased because it reminded me of God's healing power and the need to repent.

But I'm thankful also that I slowed down enough in my reading to be reminded that at one time there was a gate to a Temple... an entryway where people must have paused and admired the wonder of it all...a gate they called Beautiful.