It’s strikingly simple really. “Jesus reached out his hand and touched him.” It doesn’t say that Jesus recruited an expert in skin disease from the crowd to come help. It doesn’t say Jesus announced a new program to cure every leper in the region. Or set up a foundation to research and cure leprosy. Jesus doesn’t seem to consider all the grandiose things I think I must do in order to make a difference.
Jesus responded to the hurting human being in front of him. I am convicted by the simplicity of Jesus’ act in this story. Too often it’s easy for me to think, “Why bother? What difference will it really make for me to help this one person?” Offering a meal to a person on the street who is hungry will not end world hunger, or even that person’s ongoing hunger one week from now.
My need to “make a difference” is too often about me rather than about following Jesus’ mission in the world. To be clear, I do believe as Christians we are called to address systemic injustice and change. And, along the Jesus Way, I cannot let my need to change the world blind me to the hurting human being in front of me.
Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear and hands to touch. May it be so. Amen.