Lord Jesus was termed a Friend of sinners – who welcomed the commoners, marginalized, mocked, boycotted, ostracized, and abandoned. (Matthew 11:19) Throughout history, the Church has embraced the lost, the last, and the least.
Paul Brand served as a missionary doctor who pioneered breakthrough treatment for leprosy, at Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore. The book Fearfully and Wonderfully, co-authored with Philip Yancey, writes a moving incident.
Karmegan, was a leprosy patient with an advanced state of disease. He had one-sided facial paralysis, hence could not smile normally. People did not like him and sometimes were afraid of his smile, hence he stopped smiling. Paul Brand and his wife Margaret treated him. Such patients are ungrateful, resisted authority, and were rebellious. Paul Brand’s mother showed him love and respect that he became a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Test of faith:
As Karmegan was rejected, ridiculed, and humiliated by society, he did not have the right attitude toward the non-patients. One day he asked what would happen if he visited a local church as Karmegan did not expect a friendly welcome. He thought the local believers will not be as kind as the foreign missionaries.
However, Paul Brand spoke with the elders of the church, and they agreed for him to come with Karmegan and take part in communion where the common cup was used. On Sunday, a foreign doctor and a healed leper patient sat on a bench, wondering what would happen.
As they were singing a hymn, a person sitting on the previous bench turned and saw both. He called Karmegan and asked him to sit next to him. Karmegan was so delighted, he went and sat. That friendly act in the church changed Karmegan completely. He got the best precision tools maker national award when he started working for a factory that made parts for typewriters.
Those who claim to love God, demonstrate their love for God, by loving brothers and sisters who are seen. (I John 4:20)
Do I love and accept others?
Join the 40-day challenge. Read our Lenten articles every day!