Faith of A Mustard Seed

Barbara Woods Washington

Barbara Woods-Washington

“Now at Lystra there was a man sitting, who could not use his feet; he was a cripple from birth, who had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking; and Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, “stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and walked.” (Acts 14:8-10). Looking further at ‘Faith’ in Acts.

Church Historians could take the time here to indicate the facts of this ‘Paul’s First Missionary Journey’ inclusive of the importance of each location, as we have already seen in the Antioch cities. But also of Iconium; and Pisidian where, I believe Paul has preached one of his greatest sermons, stirring up persecution and causing their exile from the city; and now Lystra which by the time Barnabas and Paul visit, boasts of having one of the few surviving ‘Bronze Age Languages’— where Paul is stoned, and left for dead.

Most significant for our task at hand is his encounter with the man in Lystra. ‘Adunatos’, used here to describe the condition of this man’s feet has it’s roots in ‘duna’— ‘being able’; ‘having capacity’; with specific reference to spiritual attitude— ‘willed ability’; ‘willed capacity’. It is most often seen in the form ‘dunamis’— ‘power’; and speaks of ‘one who has an ability’; ‘capability’; ‘competency’; ‘one who has possibility’; ‘having power’. The ‘a’ prefixed indicates that this man ‘had no ability’; ‘had no capacity’; ‘ had no power’ in his feet.
Never to overlook how ‘on time’ God is with His Word, I recall my fall several years ago that fractured my ankle. My first time ever using crutches. I spent the first two days laid up dreading having to move for walking on crutches initially proved more painful than they are worth. Talking with my cousin she said, “you got a chair with wheels?” I said yes the one at my computer. She said, “You got a wheel chair!” The days turned so bright rolling around the house. Such a wonderful Text of study and writing and finding myself in the midst of… a healing of the feet!

I have always had ‘powerful hands’. With a grandmother who had me to stand in the mirror each morning before First grade and put two cornrows in my hair; to her teaching me to crochet and to knit. To the sewing and numerous other crafting skills that my mother passed on. To the woodworking skills that I got from Mr. Shook and Mr. Ladd as a work-study student in the Industrial Arts Dept at TSU; to the leather crafting skills from running Willie’s Leather Booth in the old Atlanta Piedmont Flee Market before going to Seminary. But it was at the Alter of Salem Church in ministry that I came into the gift of ‘receiving power in my hands’.

“Powerful Feet” translated into historical “Movement” where persons of consciousness united to ‘Take a Stand’ and to ‘Raise Their Voices’; to cry out in The Wilderness that “The Crooked Places” MUST BE… Made Straight”! The power of ‘Hundreds of Feet Marching for Justice’ in this Nation can be seen at the turn of the Century when women demanded “The Right To Vote” giving birth to the “Suffrage Movement”. Then in the 1960’s the power of ‘Thousands of Feet Marching for Justice’ in this Nation can be seen when a group of Black Preachers aligned the “Suppression of The Right To Vote” with “Jobs and Freedom” giving birth to the “Civil Rights Movement”. Now, this week more than 100 Years later, the “Suppression of The Right To Vote” in the Georgia Governor’s race has conjured up the power of ‘Hundreds of Thousands of Feet Marching and Voices being Raised for Justice’… in this Nation.

This man of Lystra had never received ‘power in his feet’— not from birth. Paul, in passing, saw that he had a spiritual attitude— ‘willed ability’; ‘willed capacity’;— ‘powerful feet’! And to this man, he “said in a loud voice, “stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and walked.”

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