Monday, March 5, 2012


It was day 7 in India. I was walking through a small secluded village with my family group. We had just visited several homes of families served by Compassion's Child Survival Program. We had held babies and prayed over them and their homes and their mamas.

As we walked along we saw a man just ahead aged by time and a hard life. He sat in the shade propped against a flimsy wall. As we approached he murmured a few words, and our translator relayed to us that he would like our prayers.

I saw the whitened skin on his hands and the sores on his body, but I had an overwhelming urge to lay my hands on his shoulders as we prayed over him. As I reached down several people spoke out in unison to stop.

He had leprosy. 

I don't know why their sudden shouts startled me. I knew he had leprosy; I had seen it many times before. And I also knew that leprosy is not spread as easily as many believe, and I knew that leprosy is very treatable in our day and age.

Yet I ignored the Heavenly urge and obeyed the human voices.

And I stopped.

We prayed for him as we stood around him, several inches between the safe and unsafe. And then we left him there on his mat in the shade, untouched.

To this day, three years later, I cannot forget his eyes and their longing for human touch.

On that day I passed an opportunity to touch the least of these. I passed by an opportunity to touch Jesus.


Mark Langham said...

This broke my heart, reminded me of so many times when I failed to take heavens perfect way. Thank you for sharing this Rebecca. So convicted by this and yet so inspired.

Denise said...

Thank you for this truthful, inspiring post.

Kayla said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It's really inspiring.

Shanda said...

Thank you for touching this man and praying for him. I had a maid in Panama that had leprosy and I loved her so much. It hurt me as well as her that people were so afraid of her.

Gayle said...

Rebecca, I remember that day and also felt badly and yet unsure. I think we failed that day. I am grateful for your honest thoughts on this. I hope God gives us a do-over someday to step out in faith.

peggy aplSEEDS said...

i think the reason this post brings tears to my eyes is because i realize that i would have done the same. thank you for sharing.