The Fellowship of This Misery

Everything is broken.

“In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

Luke 5:12, NLT

Let’s jump right into this passage from Luke 5.  A very sick man desires to become well.  The Bible text reveals that his condition is agonizingly desperate.  His leprosy has advanced; he is covered with it from ‘head-to-toe.’  He is completely infected; he is ‘unclean’ and without hope. There is no treatment for what he has, doctors can do nothing, so he comes to Jesus.

We must emphasize this, the leper has no illusions of wholeness.  He knows it; he doesn’t need to be convinced, or persuaded by anyone else.  It occurs to him, that Jesus the healer (of lepers, and the like) may provide healing, or at the least a morsel of comfort.  This leper approaches the presence of Jesus, with such humility it is almost painful to witness. This man is completely broken; he has no hope, except Jesus.

There is a fellowship of misery–some of us are “card-carrying” members.

Our diseases differ, but they have affected us completely.  Our pain, and our darkness vary.  Some have physical pain, others have a mental illness.  When we meet, there should be a secret handshake or a password. We share a comradeship— we are all part of the same community.  We are a broken club of tired and decidedly unclean misfits.

How do we measure our pain and desperate darkness?  What do we use to measure it? For the most part, our lives have been destroyed. I think we can understand it by looking up at Jesus.  Lying in the dirt, we believe the unbelievable.  Our faith doesn’t activate his healing as much it guides it to our greatest need.  The presence of Jesus drives away the pain.  His love for us echoes into our emptiness. And he wants to do this!  He has come for us. He carries us through this.

I struggle with deep depression and despondency.  I have been on meds for a long time.  But when I come into Jesus’ presence, all this melancholy is driven out. He comes and injects a true hope into my spirit.  Am I a stellar example of perfect discipleship?  I think not.  (My wife could tell you this.)  But isn’t about us becoming “angels”, it’s about us becoming intimate with Jesus.

“The power of the Church is not a parade of flawless people, but of a flawless Christ who embraces our flaws. The Church is not made up of whole people, rather of the broken people who find wholeness in a Christ who was broken for us.”   

–Mike Yaconelli

The leper would be healed by the authority (and touch) of Jesus Christ. What is impossible with men, is possible with God.

“Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.” (v. 13)

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About Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
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4 Responses to The Fellowship of This Misery

  1. Debbie says:

    I love that it’s not about us becoming Angels, but becoming intimate with Jesus. God bless you and the special ministry He has given you for the broken.

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  2. Bryan, You wrote: “The leper has no illusions that he sick. He knows it; he doesn’t need to be convinced, or persuaded by anyone else.” Isn’t that where all believers need to be? To come to Christ we must recognize that we are spiritually broken, that we need a savior. Sometimes I think that is the blessing of being physically or mentally broken, in that it is easier to shatter the illusion of wholeness without Him that the evil one tries to paint for us. Those who are physically and mentally well find it harder to recognize their spiritual illness and seek Him for wholeness. Peace, Linda

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  3. Kathy says:

    Thank you Brother Bryan, sometimes I can’t wait yo read what God has laid on your heart. I know you speak the truth with love, not condemnation. I listen to you because I know you are a broken beliver. You expose your nakedness and weakness. I thank you for such honesty and it help me to be more honest about exposing mine. Sometimes I grow weary at times by my bothers and sisters in Christ, who are so judgemental about the sick. I no without a doubt God is leading me to sing or give a thought on broken belivers, but I don’t want to sound pathetic. I had a wonderful devotion you gave on this topic and I can’t remember where I read it at on your site. Any help you can give me will be appreciate. please pray for me as I speak about this subject from the pulpit to the congregation. Your sis in Christ, Kathy Harville

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