“As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’
Thank goodness the scourge of leprosy is not with us today. However, the attitude that was directed toward the condition by the community remains. The lepers were the outcasts of all outcasts relegated to the fringe of society, ostracized and rejected. Today they are called sex offenders. Instead of screaming Unclean, they are posted on the media for all to see and avoid. They are considered irredeemable, mentally flawed, and dangerous. Today, if one of them were to walk up to Jesus and say, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean” would that change our perception?
The Lord is moving in the ministry and doors may be opening to reach into the modern-day leper community. They are segregated in the prison system. They are required to submit to lengthy codes of restriction out of prison that often are so rigid they must return for failure to meet the requirements. Churches will not allow them to worship in their communities. They are unclean.
Pray for us. We may have the opportunity soon to enter the sex offender yards in the prison facilities. I may be able to begin classes for offenders recently released from prison to uncover the deep wounds most of them suffered as children. Pray for my motives. Henri Nouwen said this, “I am quite willing to work for or even with little people, but I want it to be a great event! Something in me always wants to turn the way of Jesus into a way that is honorable in the eyes of the world. I always want the little way to become the big way. But Jesus’ movement toward the places the world wants to move away from cannot be made into a success story. Every time we think we have touched a place of poverty, we will discover greater poverty beyond that place. There really is no way back to riches, wealth, success, acclaim, prizes. Beyond physical poverty there is mental poverty, beyond mental poverty there is spiritual poverty, and beyond that there is nothing, nothing but the naked truth that God is mercy”.
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