Seeing the Real Need

"Seeing the Real Need" by Claire McGarry (

Image: (2016), CC0/PD

We are living in a time of extremes. While some people are losing loved ones because of the pandemic, others are growing closer to theirs because of it. It seems that whenever the stakes are high, there’s no room for gray, just black and white.

And a man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple. (Acts 3:2)

In Acts 3:2, a crippled man is placed at the gate of the temple every day to beg for alms. His handicap is juxtaposed against a gate so stunning, it’s literally called “the Beautiful Gate.” Where the beggar lives in the gray, simply asking for money to get by, Peter and John see things differently.

They see things in black and white. They know money won’t solve the man’s deep need; healing him will. So, they do so, in Jesus’ name.

As the world shifts around us, it also shifts for each one of us, and our kids. I’m sure we’re all exhibiting wacky behavior because of it. That behavior, however, is just the gray of the situation. Like symptoms pointing to the larger disease, our behavior, and our kids’, are just the result of the bigger needs we all have.

Like Peter and John saw the real need of the beggar, we need to look beyond the gray to identify our own true needs. There’s so much we’ve lost that we need to mourn. There’s so much uncertainly we need to come to peace with. In the midst of it all, there’s an invitation to new growth we need to embrace. As the one true Healer, God is at the ready to help us through it all.

Similar to putting on our own oxygen masks first, once our own needs are identified and met, we’ll be able to help our kids. They need us centered. They need us strong. How else are we to accompany and lead them to what is beautiful during this not-so-beautiful time?

Copyright 2020 Claire McGarry


About Author

Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and All is Blessing: Finding God in the Tensions of Life, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.


  1. Jacqueline McNeil on

    Yes, Claire, the strong emphasis right now for me in this pandemic is my recognition
    of a unique opportunity given us by our Loving Father to deepen my life in Christ by:
    1. Giving even more time to our Loving Father, each day, listening for His Voice and direction, receiving His love, His message, His direction, for that day, and then:
    2. Reaching out with His love by acts of kindness, to the children, and for those of us who don’t have children, to each person God has put on our particular path, with a phone call, e-mail, or letter, since we can’t visit.

  2. What a wonderful point, Jackie! I love your perspective of going to God for what He wants to fill you with, and then showering that grace on others. Just beautiful!

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