Visible Faith

The Bible’s definition of faith according to Hebrews 11:1 “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” comes alive in today’s first reading. When Paul and Barnabas fled to Lystra and Derbe, they encountered a man who was a cripple from birth. We are told that as this man listened to Paul while he was speaking, Paul looked intently at him and saw that he had faith to be made well so he said to him: “Stand upright on your feet” and he sprang up and walked.

The figure presented to us to learn from is this man who is most probably a Gentile. He had a strong and a great faith that it was so visible for Paul to see. His faith has radiated from within so strongly that it could be seen on his countenance. It means he strongly believed without a doubt, without questions or arguments. Can we grow and nurture our faith to that level where it will become so visible that our actions will demonstrate our total trust in God?

It is this faith of his that made him walk even though he had been a cripple from birth. He could have easily adjusted and adopted to the fact that he can’t use his feet yet he kept hope alive in that situation. That faith enabled him to stand up and walk for the first time.

Situations could have made us “cripple” and unable to “walk” or make progress in some areas of our lives. There may be so many things that aren’t going on as expected and we’re hoping for a better day. Let’s learn from this unnamed man and keep our hope alive. Let’s keep hoping because that’s our light through the darkest moments, as well as our eyes and legs to walk us through it.

Paul landed in Lystra while they were running for their lives in Iconium. But that’s how God has arranged it – that what looked like unfortunate circumstances in the life of Paul and Barnabas was a profound blessing for the unnamed man who has been crippled from birth. The help will come, although you may not know where or when. That man has no name because it can be you; but will your faith be active at that time to receive it?
(Acts 14:5-18; Ps 115; Jn. 14:21-26)


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