There was a man covered with leprosy….Jesus stretched out His hand, touched him, and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him. Luke 5:12, 13
All kinds of healing can occur when we are willing to reach out and make connections with others. A boy’s faintheartedness can be healed when a father places his hand on his son and says, “I know you can do this.” The estrangement within a family begins to heal when someone finally stretches beyond the old grudges and places a long overdue phone call. Marriages are healed when couples are willing to venture beyond their comfort zones and sit down with a counselor who can help them work on better communication skills. When we are willing to reach out, when we are willing to stretch a bit, when we are willing to risk associations with people who are hurting, that is when healing happens. And it begins with a choice. “Lord, if You choose, You can make me clean.”
For us all, there is someone in our life—a family member, a forgotten friend, a classmate, a colleague, the homeless person we walk past on our way to work—who other people choose to avoid. The good news is that each of us has the power to bring healing to that person. We have the ability to reach out and make a difference. It is not as difficult as we might believe; we just need to stretch ourselves a bit. So, the question for us is the same as it was for Jesus—will we choose?
This week, will you choose to reach out to someone you know who is lonely, hurting, or maligned by others?
Lord, I tend to step over, past, or on top of a lot of people. There are people I choose to avoid. There are people I make fun of with my friends. And, of course, there are plenty of people I simply don’t take notice of. Help me to stop. Help me to reach out. Help me to take notice of the needs of those around me. Encourage me to care more than I often do. And help me to bring healing where I can. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.