It's 2:00am and I've just finished listening to the podcast of Pastor D and the "Naked Preacher", Steve Grant. I can't sleep and all I keep thinking about is the statement he made "What would of happened had he not listened in the moment to what God was saying to him about sharing his faith with Pastor D?" What will happen if I don't listen to what God is saying to me in the moment?
For the past month or so God has really been speaking to my heart each day about forgiveness. Well today He opened my heart, my eyes, and my ears to hear him saying "Remember when you had Leprosy?"
Did I really have Leprosy ? Literally no, but as I read the story today of the man in the bible who had leprosy it made me think back through many things in my own life.
In the times of biblical culture people with certain physical ailments were shunned and set apart from everyone. They were seen as unclean and therefore could not be touched.A person with leprosy had mass ulcers and decay. It caused the body to stink and the skin to become discolored. Sometimes the hands were disfigured and gnarled and nerve endings became numb and sometimes even dead.
Can you imagine coming home one day with nothing wrong and waking up with a small patch of discolored skin and then little by little and day by day noticing something popping up. Could you imagine waking up and no one being able to hug you, kiss you, hold you, or even be seen with you? This was a leper's life. In some ways this has been my life.
As I think back over this I am once again drowned in the emotions of loneliness, anxiety, anger, bitterness, frustration, confusion, and sadness. Most of my life I've lived with a label or two. No mine was not leper but they have been mentally ill,major depression, PTSD,anxiety disorder, abused, neglected, rejected, abandoned, needy, gay, disabled, and many more. In many ways I've felt the physical and emotional repercussions of these labels. But as I continued to read the story of the leper, I see that just one moment also changed his life. One touch from Jesus and he no longer had to live with the label, the rejection, or the pain. In one single moment Christ gave me forgiveness and changed my life and he has asked me to do the same with others in my life recently. I'm not saying its going to be easy but through this story God has allowed me to see it will take compassion and His strength in a single moment.
Look at those around you. In biblical times we were always told that lepers were the worst of society. Today it could be a murderer, a pedophile, a gay, or whatever your experiences have told you. Who needs your compassion? Who needs your forgiveness or who do you need to ask forgiveness from? Take this moment.