Adapted & expanded from Peter Heals a Crippled Beggar, Acts 3:1-11
It was a hot day but many were still making their way to the Temple for the afternoon prayer. Bob called out to his friends Tod and Rod, “Hey dudes, could you please take me to the entrance now? Need to get to work.”
“Sure thing, Bob!” Rod replied as he gestured to Tod to give him a hand. They hoisted Bob from the floor onto the homemade stretcher.
Since birth, Bob could not use both his legs, which were contorted. “Birth defect”, the midwife told his weeping mother. Thus, ever since he knew how to put on a “10sen face” (innocent expression), he had been begging.
The Temple entrances were one of Bob’s favourite places to beg because pious Jews who walked by were usually very generous.
“Take me to the Beautiful Gate, boys. The shade’s better there this time of the day and it’s one of the busier entrances,” Bob instructed his kind friends.
Rod grabbed one end of the stretcher – simply made with two poles sticking through the sides of a tarpaulin – while Tod grabbed the other end.
As they weaved in and out of the crowded streets, many familiar faces turned and waved to the trio. They were the street vendors who had known Bob since he was a child.
“Hey Bob! Come by for some tea afterwards, OK?” Hunter the drink vendor hollered. “Rod, Tod, you guys come have some too.”
“Sure thing, Hunter!” Tod shouted back.
Strangers were staring at them…well, at Bob mostly. Two men carrying a grown one on a stretcher must be a sight to behold. How Bob wished he had full use of his legs. He could walk right up to Hunter’s stall for that drink; stand by the stall and people watch as he sip his tea. After that, he could sashay away without drawing any unwanted attention to himself.
How he wished he was normal…like those two guys they just passed. They were laughing heartily as they strolled towards the Temple.