it makes you just want to sit and hold them… just sit and hold them…
Part Five in a series on “How to minister.” Continued from How to minister: Mourning with those who mourn (cont.)
My coworker Amanda
Petersen wrote the following beautiful and searing reflection
on her visit to a leper colony in India. To me it captures the essence of Jesus’ injunction, “when you’ve done it to the least of these, you’ve done it unto me.” God spare us from an antiseptic religion.
I was in a leper colony.
Sitting in a big wood box. Kind of like a bird house.
Next to a man with no hands, no tongue, no toes.
Sitting in his own excrement.
His face looks like it’s melting off.
A few of us sit next to him. We put our hands on his
shoulder, his knee. We sing to him and pray over him.
He doesn’t know English. Tears come.
He continuously looks up to the roof.
His face is one of desperation.
His head drops into what would be his hands.
More looking up to the roof.
He doesn’t know what we are saying.
The look that I saw in that man’s eyes was a reflection of
my heart. It gave face to how my inner being cried out, and still cries out, to
I can’t shake this memory because I don’t want to.
I have so many questions about that man’s heart – his heart
as in the heart that we name as the core of us that is in relationship with
I left there with a seed growing with the understanding that
relationship and worship and salvation and spirituality and religion and truth
and beauty oftentimes look a whole lot different than I would ever expect them
Who was he looking to when his eyes went to the roof? What
came over him that brought those tears? Did that man not know Christ? Did he
not have a relationship with him that blows our American perspective of
relationship out of the box?
Continued in Learning to grieve
Oh my heart breaks! I was just talking with a team mate this morning about children missing extremities. I do believe it is time to pray. Thank you for the reminder of how blessed we truly are!
isn’t it a miracle that we can even have a moment of happiness when there are any such suffering among us? nevertheless our God Jehovah is a happy God who still gives of his spirit for the asking, namely love, joy, long-suffering, kindness, faith, peace, goodness, meekness and self-control to all who ask. Do I ever look to the day when none of our world-wide brothers and sisters will ever have to suffer pain, sorrow, shame, tears (except of joy maybe!) because it’s not easy to one body to feel so good even if it’s just the little toe that is hurting, we still feel it all over and when we see another soul in pain, we cannot not be in pain also. God’s kingdom is awaiting us to take care of all of this pain and inhuman suffering once and for all.
You don’t need to pray – you need to give them better access to antibiotics and medical care.
Or you can go eat Christ crackers…
I don’t think I’d believe in anything if it weren’t for my lucky rabbit foot.
Sounds like you’ve been praying to a malevolent God, Seth.
Let’s hope that the Leper Man’s state will not deteriorate further.
It does make you wonder, doesn’t it? I don’t fault you in the least for your questions. The problem of pain is one that we need to wrestle with. C.S. Lewis did a good job here: http://www.amazon.com/Problem-Pain-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652969/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1287744974&sr=8-1
I hope you don’t dismiss the possibility of a benevolent God who exists alongside horrors like leprosy. I could share with you proofs if your mind was open enough to receive them. And if you went searching for them, you’d find stories on my site that would at least cause you to question your conclusions.
For me he is a fact and at the same time, I have some questions for him about stuff that doesn’t make sense. I’m able to live with a few mysteries and concerns. It’s not easy being human and I don’t ask anyone to stop thinking deeply about these issues. That’s why I post stuff like this and still retain my hope.
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