12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed. (Acts 5:12-16, NIV)
Scenes such as these, from the early days of Christianity, are vivid in their telling. The apostles, imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit after Pentecost, perform many “signs and wonders among the people.” At first there is a hesitation, with others not “dar[ing] to join them” in “Solomon’s Colonnade.” Yet this does not last long, as “more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.” These people bring their sick “so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Especially significant is that last line, “all of them were healed.”
Many of us desire healing at some point in our lives, whether it be physical, spiritual, or emotional. We thus look to Christ, who through His ministry and Passion provides guidance and inspiration. In careful reflection and prayer, we ask Him for the kind of healing seen in the passage above. We so deeply desire to experience miracles such as this, but in this time of year especially, as the days grow shorter and the nights longer, we can often grow bleak in our outlooks. Yes, these events happened, but that was in the distant past. I have never seen events like this myself, did they even happen? I want to believe events like this can happen in my life too, but I don’t think they will. Is God listening?
Perhaps the problem is not with God, but with our collective outlook. Nowadays, in our 24/7 culture, we are constantly exposed to things that seek to latch onto our attention. When on occasion we pause to think, we often don’t look as closely as we should. If we give just a cursory glance, we can feel discouraged. I’m nervous about the future. Nothing is going how I wanted it to. Will everything be okay?
But instead of thinking of what we do not have, we should dwell on what we do have. Family and friends who love us, food on the table, and our faith.
Joseph Kester ’22 is a Sophomore in Eliot House studying Classics and History.