We all know I love a good word. And of course many of them come from my pastor. Should you want to love a good word too, click here.

So when he started talking about that old familiar soul who was directed outside the city walls because of leprosy along with those other diseased folks, of course I found myself a bit drawn. I’d felt diseased. I’d felt as though my disease were stealing my life in ways similar to this leper, so my ears perched and heart rested for the story.

I treated him the same way I, and if we’re going to be honest you, treat a majority of people. I ignored the humanity of his heart and recognized little of myself in him. What an insatiable pity.

Did you catch his name? Yeah, me either. Because at this point, he was known for the event in his life rather than the identity of his soul. He was known as the man with Leprosy. He was most likely healthy before the sickness; he probably had a family, a job, a life. When his identity was removed, and begging mat became his four corners, I wonder if he ever wanted to scream at the scoffers. Or beg people to stop looking with puppy eyes, or shout his need for normalcy. I wonder if he dreaded the ways people would scorn him, show him homeopathic ways to heal the sickness he wasn’t doing ‘right’ on his own. Or maybe if they’d just forget about him altogether.

My pastor said more crippling than the disease itself is the social outcasting that takes place. Like people could learn to live with the oddities in life if they felt like the were accepted. I’d been the girl invited to all the parties.  He became known as a man with a skin disease. I think people had forgotten my name; they knew me as the event now.

I’d felt diseased. Not because my world was flipped upside down but because the situation I was found in came with a label. I’m so sorry if the world’s left you lonely with a label. Your worth much more than this.

I used to be invited to all the parties. And I wonder if this man without his own name used to be invited to stuff too. Even more, I wonder just how many of us have felt the lonely sting of rejection or social outcasting and find ourselves feeling outside the walls of relationship like our friend the leper did. See, Jesus looks at the leper in compassion and says for his healing one thing; I am willing. That’s it. And then he goes ahead and healed the ailment.

I think that’s where we all get lost. We get so caught up in the social standing of our hearts before people we forget that our healing savior has stood there before us and our diseases saying I am willing.

Jesus wasn’t afraid of a touch of disease because he was madly in love with the person. And being the God who never changes, He’s still feeling the same today as he did way back then.

After our Leper friend was healed, he went to those places where he was actually asked to leave, to proclaim the goodness God had done. He spoke so freely Jesus had to go into hiding because so many others wanted that same healing.

I don’t know what social disease you might have suffered from, but let me remind you a couple things. God is right with you full of compassion, offering that healing touch. Take it. There’s a new life on the other side of that choice. Second, we might never know the response of people to our belonging or lack thereof. But our hearts are more concerned with others having the experiential knowledge of Christ than get caught up in the social status of our ever-changing selves. Right? Go change the world because of all He is to you.

Lastly {and take note here}; everyone needs a little healing whether inside or outside those city walls. If not, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to go into hiding once the word was spread. My friends if I’ve learned anything at all, its that we’ve all got a little touch of disease in need of Christ’s great healing. Have compassion on humanity, would ya. We could all just really use a good friend.

Your friend,