Last week I met a leper.
It was in a grocery shop, and I was buying things for the home.
Immediately I made friends with him and even went ahead and bought him a few things for his need. He was not poor. But I felt a personal need to bless him. He lives in one of the buildings close by but cannot work so his family supports him. We talked awhile, and I shared my testimony with him. I plan to meet him again.
So, I came home and studied about leprosy. Leprously blocks pain because of the death of nerves at the body’s extremities.
Biblically speaking leprosy is a powerful symbol reminding us of sin’s spread and its horrible consequences. Like leprosy, sin starts out small but can then spread, leading to other sins and causing great damage to our relationship with God and others.
In studying all about leprously, I now understand why pain is a valuable ‘gift,’ a survival mechanism to warn us of danger in this cursed world. Without pain and suffering, we might be like lepers, unable to recognize that something is terribly wrong and that we need God’s healing.
As Dr. Brand, a very famous surgeon from Vellore, said, “I cannot think of a greater gift that I could give my leprosy patients than pain.”
We must not be too hasty to remove pain in our lives. Pain comes in many forms…emotional, physical, social and spiritual and relational.
It could be God’s loudspeaker to get us to notice that something is utterly wrong, so we can flee to the One who created us!