Gospel for Asia

Loving the Lepers

Photo: Gospel for Asia
Frantically scrubbing the man tried to wash away the white patch on his skin. At first he thought he had just rubbed up against some brick, but now he knew differently as he saw the raw flesh begin to emerge. His heart sank as more patches appeared. Keeping his head down in shame, he slowly made his way to the priest.

The priest’s judgment was but one word, “Unclean.” It was indeed leprosy. Tearing his clothes, the man made his way outside the camp warning everyone with his voice crying, “Unclean! Unclean!” Quickly passersby rushed away from the man. No one would ever get near a leper.

While this account is fictional and based from Leviticus 13 of the Bible, there are still many today who suffer with leprosy or Hansen’s Disease. Fifty percent of the world’s leprosy cases are in India and it is present in Brazil, Africa and China. Ninety-five percent of people are immune to leprosy. It is a contagious disease caused by bacteria and can be transmitted through touch and the nasal cavity. This bacterium attacks the nerves and causes loss of sensation and pain.
It is easily curable; but in countries where treatment is not readily available, the leper will lose the warning system of their body parts and not be able to feel. They may reach directly into a fire or walk on splintered glass without knowing better.
Can you imagine never knowing again the feel of a warm embrace? Or the brush of lips on your cheek? You only know isolation and separation, reproach and revulsion.
God is raising up believers and churches even among leper colonies. Gospel of Asia ministers to the lepers through the sharing of the gospel and helping with their daily living needs. When you visit the link, be sure to read the account of Baga, a leper in Jesus’ arms.
Jesus loves the leper. He wasn’t afraid to touch them.
“Be cleansed.”
Our great High Priest cleansing the unclean.
 *Thanks to Pastor Dave Beakley of CBC for the statistics which I used from his sermon on Mark 1:40-45

2 thoughts on “Loving the Lepers”

  1. Dear Debbie
    I have once read a book of Phillip Yancey where he speaks of Dr Paul Brandt. A medical doctor who was a missionary to lepers in India. When he went home to England for a visit, he discovered that he couldn't feel anything with his hands. He was riding in a train at that stage of his journey and so scared that he might have leprosy. By the following day, the feeling in his hands returned. Afterwards he wrote a book about the gift of pain. Makes sense, don't you think!
    Blessings from Tracey's
    Mia

  2. Yes, we should love all and touch is SO important. When I started a homeless ministry in my town, I soon realized how important touch was to our homelesss citizens as not too many wanted to touch them either….so sad! I've had men and women both fall apart on me because of touching them…a hug, a pat on the knee, an arm around them as they talked. I pray we all learn not to be afraid to show the love of Christ through touch.
    Thank you for coming to my place today, it is so nice to meet you! 🙂

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