Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean." Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do choose. Be made clean." Immediately the leprosy left him. Luke 5:12-13 (NRSV)
Live in harmony with one another, do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Romans 12:16 (NRSV)
Karen Wingate, from Illinois, and her husband make it a practice to give physical goods rather than cash to someone in need. So when her husband, Jack, rolled down the car window and asked Karen to hand money to the shivering woman on the sidewalk, she sensed the Holy Spirit was behind his request. Karen opened the car door, handed the bill to the woman, and talked with her about her situation. Then she took her hands and prayed with her. After they prayed, the woman wrapped Karen in a bear hug.
In that moment of touch Karen realized she was more than a shivering body behind a cardboard placard. Jesus touched those who were blind, demon-possessed, or crippled, proclaiming that they were human beings worthy of concern and respect. The way they were regarded by their society did not minimize their worth.
Karen doesn't know what happened to that woman after that day, but she was forever changed by that encounter. She understood in a new way that she was no more deserving of God's healing touch than anyone else. We are equal in the eyes of God who knows all and cares for all.
It is amazing to me that our God is willing to touch our lives even when we are filthy dirty. I always think , especially at this time of year, of the filthy shepherds, living out in the fields near Bethlehem; yet God chose to reveal the birth of His Son to them first. I am eternally grateful that God chose to touch my life with His love and mercy and raise me up out of the sins of death, thru the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. We are all worthy in the eyes of God because He created us and God does not make "junk"!
Prayer: Open our eyes, O God, to see the needs around us and to hear the human hearts in need of Your Love, in Jesus' name, amen.