The Irresistible Revolution, Shane ClaiborneRecommend this book, would love to know who has already read it and your thoughts. Just took these notes from Chapter 3, In Search of a Christian.
One of the most sacred places I went was to a leper colony outside of Calcutta. Leprosy is a disease of numbness. The contagion numbs the skin, and the nerves can no longer feel as the body wastes away. In fact the was it was detected was by rubbing a feather across the skin and if the person could not feel it, they were diagnosed with the disease.
To treat it, we would dig out or dissect the scarred tissue until the person could feel again. It's a disease of the outcasts, the untouchables. One leper explained that often times lepers don't even know the words, thank you, because they have never needed to say them. They had rarely experienced occassions when they used language of gratitude.
John 14:12 "Very truly I tell you, all who have faith in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."
'The greater things', not just the miracles-- but to see that the miracles were an expression not so much of Jesus' mighty power as of His love. What had lasting significance were not the miracles, but the love Jesus showed. Yes, He raised Lazarus from the dead, but he died a few years later. Jesus healed the sick but eventually they became sick again. He fed thousands but they became hungry again. What we remember is His love. It wasn't that Jesus healed a leper but that He touched a leper, because no one touched lepers. The incredible thing about this kind of love is that it now lives inside of us!
Jesus assures us that the Spirit now lives in us. Jesus says He is going to the Father but will also remain inside of us and we in Him. We are the body of Christ, the hands and feet of Jesus to the world. Christ is living inside of you and me walking the earth. We shall do even greater things because the love that lived in the radical Christ now lives within millions of ordinary radicals all over the planet.
As I left Calcutta, it occured to me that I was returning to a land of lepers, a land of people who had forgotten how to feel, to laugh, to cry and a land haunted by numbness. Could we learn to feel again?