In 2017, CBS News published a controversial article about Iceland’s declining rate of babies with Down syndrome.* The article pointed to the wide use of prenatal screening as the cause, claiming that nearly all Icelandic mothers chose to terminate their pregnancies when Down syndrome was detected.
What is most striking about this story is what it reveals about the human heart. Our inclination is to set aside those who don’t fit in. We see it clearly today in our culture’s attitude about abortion. But we also see it in the Bible.
In Jesus’ day, the leper was the unwanted member of society. Lepers were forced to live outside the community. They were required to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” whenever others came near. And they had to beg for charity in order to survive. A diagnosis of leprosy was almost worse than a death sentence. It was the end of community. The end of belonging. The end of being touched.
But Luke tells us that when Jesus met a man with leprosy, He “reached out his hand and touched the man” (Luke 5:13). In that moment, Jesus healed the man’s heart as much as his body. For the first time in years, someone looked this man in the eye, someone touched him, someone cared about him. I wouldn’t be surprised if this man broke down in tears of joy.
This is the ministry of Jesus. He loves those who are cast aside, and that love changes their lives — it’s still happening today.
As we strive to reach every person on Earth with the Gospel of Jesus’ love, we must make a conscious effort to also reach marginalized people groups. This includes the poor, the homeless, the sick, women, children, widows, criminals, refugees, gypsies, and those with special needs. People the world would ignore, we must embrace.
And God is already using you to reach these people groups. Through your partnership with EHC, you see them. You touch them. You love them. Your prayers and support show them that they have value and they are loved.