This week's Bible Lesson on Love includes Jesus healing a leper as told in Mark's gospel. It set me to thinking about the act of 'washing someone clean of all the impurities of the flesh.'
So many came to Jesus for healing, even this man who was suffering from the dread, incurable disease of leprosy. In those times it was thought to be a judgment from God, an outward sign of an inward sin. But the leper had faith that Jesus could heal him, if he chose to. And, moved with compassion, Jesus put forth his and touched him. That may have been the first human contact that man had for a very long time. Jesus could do so fearlessly as he knew he could not become 'unclean' by being in contact with the leper. In his eyes, there was no dread disease, only the perfect, healthy, whole image and likeness of God. The man was cleansed of the disease and whatever his sins might have been were wiped away.
We sometimes wish we could help someone we know be free of some outward sign of disease or free them from a recurring sinful behavior. Baptism is a one-time washing away of sin. At another time, when Jesus was passing through Samaria, he encountered a woman by a well. Knowing what was going on in her life, he offered her 'living water'. This was not just a one-time event, but a complete change in her life. She perceives that this man was the Messiah. She had not been seeking healing, as the leper had, but Jesus reached out to her anyway.
When we want to help someone, we need to be sure our own thought of them is as clear as his was. He did not see a man suffering from an awful disease, he did not see a woman living a sinful life style. He only saw what God sees, the perfect man. 'and this perfect view of man heals the sick'.
We should never shy away from offering that cup of cold water. Christian Science is the most precious gift we can give. Presented lovingly, that gesture is never in vain, even if it appears that they do not want to hear it. You were touched with compassion, you reached out to someone you did not know. Love is reflected in love, in that loving outreach, that lifts thought higher. It is amazing what a little hug can do.
If thou wilt.