1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them–walking, leaping, and praising God. [Acts 3:1-8]
I believe that for the most part everyone like a good surprise. There is a joy in getting something you did not expect. Whether it is a refund check in the mail, a phone call from a friend you have not seen in years, finding money in the dryer, or a room full of people screaming “Happy Birthday”, the unexpected is refreshing. The unexpected has the ability to break up a routine and create a bright spot in an otherwise dreary day. The Bible tells us that Peter and John “John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer”. This was their routine. Their normal. Their daily activity. Theirs is not the only routine we are told of. We are introduced to a man who was lame and had been since the day he was born. We are told of his routine. He was, “laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple”. As Peter and John walked past this man, he asked for a handout. Their response was not expected. Peter said to him, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” I am sure the lame man was surprised. I am sure he was expecting to be ignored as usual. I am sure that when Peter and John did pay him some attention he was expecting money of some kind. What he found instead was much better than a refund check or five dollars falling out of the dryer. He was surprised by healing.
There are times in our lives when we are like Peter and John. We go through the routine of life unaware that we have within us the capacity to bless and change the life of another. There are times in our lives when we are like the lame man. We are the ones who need help, change, and blessing. Every day we should approach life with the desire to bring an unexpected blessing to someone else.