The Fellowship of Pain

The Leper’s Hands

“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

The Bible text reveals that this man is desperate.  His leprosy has advanced; he is covered with it from ‘head-to-toe.’ He’s an outcast now, completely infected by something he never asked for; he is ‘unclean’ and completely without hope. There is no treatment, the doctors can do nothing.

The leper knows that without the touch of Jesus, he’ll never be healed. 

He knows it; he doesn’t need to be convinced by anyone over the complete hopelessness of his condition. He has heard that he can do incredible miracles. Could it be that Jesus can heal his sickness? The leper comes and falls on his knees before the Lord, with his face in the dirt. This man is completely broken; he has no hope, except Jesus. What else can he do?

Our diseases differ, but our lives have been completely changed by our pain. We all have this in common. 

Our pain, and darkness vary. Some hurt more, some less. But we’ve all come to the place where we no longer have illusions of somehow being made whole. Whenever we meet, I think there should be a secret handshake or a password. We all share a comradeship— we’re all part of the same community.  We’re a broken club of tired and decidedly unclean misfits.

We belong to the fellowship of pain.

Lying in the dirt, we start to believe the unbelievable.  Our faith doesn’t activate our healing, as much as it simply guides us to Jesus. We can kneel, and perhaps that’s all we need to do. His presence drives away the fear, the doubt and the pain. He’s come, and somehow we begin to hope for mercy. Only he can carry us through this.

I have struggled with deep dark depression. I’ve had to take meds.  But when I come into Jesus’ presence, all my melancholy is driven out. He comes and I start to hope again.  Am I a stellar example of perfect discipleship?  I think not. But isn’t about us becoming “angels,” perhaps it’s more about us learning how to kneel, and to allow Jesus to touch our hearts. Repeatedly.

“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

 

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Published by Bryan Lowe

The Chief Sinner of the "Chiefest of Sinner's Club." My favorite verse is Philippians 1:6-- "I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

3 thoughts on “The Fellowship of Pain

  1. 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. 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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