Have you ever said, "I wish the pain would go away. When will it stop hurting?"
One pastor's wife called Kay Smith (wife of Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel) with this same question. Kay tenderly replied "Oh my dear, I hope the pain never goes away, because if it does it means our hearts are calloused." (Paraphrased.)
Callous means: hard, bony-like, insensibility and unfeeling (Webster 1828).
Curiously, leprous skin has the same results. Ironically, calloused people want others to stay away, but leprous people, according to biblical law, have to make them stay away.
Jesus broke this law by touching people, leprous or not. Imagine being that leprous person, it's been years since your last human interaction, since the last time of physical affection. Then, up walks this sensitive Redeemer, ready to touch in human relationship (religion = man's attempt to reach God. Christianity = God reaching out to touch man).
So much that He was willing to lay His life down, pour out His blood as a sacrifice and wash our leprous sinful ways away, allowing us to experience the abundant life of love. "Beloved, let us love one another" (see 1 John 4:7-8).
Hurting is a reality of humanity. Leprosy is a choice and callousness is the outcome. Take your hurts and pains to the One who can heal the leprosy, remove the callous and help you to love again. Believe me, He already knows and wants to help.
- Patrick Propster is pastor of Calvary Chapel - Carson City Christian Fellowship.