Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

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The Power of the Word - Part 30

The morning sun hit his face, and he began to stir. Slowly he opened his eyes, recognized his surroundings, and swore. He was still alive, and he had to face another day. Why wouldn’t the God of heaven just let him die in his sleep? He was half dead already any way.

He rolled up his sleeping pallet and stored it with the rest of his things. He exited his make-shift shelter and headed toward the center of camp from where the aroma of breakfast emanated. When he arrived, he was given a plate of hot food. He found a place to sit, and began eating. He joined in the conversation with his fellow camp dwellers, enjoying the fellowship. He fumbled his fork a couple of times, but was glad that he was learning to better handle the utensil with one less finger. He wondered how he would eat when all of his fingers were gone.

After breakfast, it was time to go out of the camp and forage for whatever could be brought back for all the camp dwellers to enjoy. He didn’t like this part of his day. It was the most humiliating thing to yell, “Unclean! Unclean!” whenever he neared normal people. His cry would strike fear into the heart of everyone he met. He could see the disgust in their eyes. He hated it and didn’t think he would ever get used to it.

As he walked out of the camp toward the nearest city, his mind wandered. He thought of his wife and children and wondered where they were and what they were doing. He hadn’t had contact with them in years. He also wondered if he would even recognize his children if he saw them today. They were now quite grown. Did they ever think of him and wonder how he was doing? Sometimes he dreamed of being back with his family the way it used it to be when the children were small. In his dreams, he could hear their laughter. He could even feel their hugs. And then slowly they would fade away, and he would awaken to another day. In the morning after he had one of those dreams, his pillow would always be wet from his tears.

As he reached the outskirts of the city, he saw a crowd of people talking excitedly. He couldn’t quite hear what they were talking about. He crept closer, moving slowly so he wouldn’t attract attention. Soon the words became more distinct. The people on the outside edge of the crowd were talking about someone named Jesus. He listened to a couple of stories about how Jesus had healed all sorts of diseases. Some of the people there were hoping to see Jesus themselves for a cure of whatever ailed them.

He looked down at his stubby hands missing so many fingers. He saw his knobby feet with no toes. He had no idea what his face looked like. He hadn’t wanted to see his reflection in a long time. He probably looked hideous. He wondered whether this Jesus would be able to heal him. Or, more accurately, would this Jesus even want to heal him? Would he frighten Jesus like he did everyone else? Besides, no one touched a leper. No one.

He had quite convinced himself that he was crazy. His situation was hopeless. Healing was impossible. Who had ever heard of a leper being healed? Despair filled him. He turned to leave as quietly has he had come.

But a shout stopped him in his tracks. Wait, they weren’t yelling at him because he had gotten too close. The crowd wasn’t even looking at him. They were all focused on the city gate, calling out to Jesus, trying to get His attention.

He forgot about leaving. He, too, became focused on the city gate. And then he saw Jesus. He stood transfixed. He watched as Jesus tried to move through the crowd. Every step or two Jesus would stop and talk with someone. Jesus would then reach out and touch the person. Bursts of “Praise God!” or “Hallelujah!” would ring out. Hope began to fill his soul as he watched Jesus touching person after person. Maybe, just maybe, Jesus would touch him too.

He completely forgot about the crowd – completely forgot about yelling, “Unclean! Unclean!” He kept his eyes on Jesus and headed straight for Him.

“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, ‘If You are willing, You can make me clean.’” (Mark 1:40)

The crowd had gone silent. He knew what they were all thinking, and he didn’t care. He knelt there in the dust staring at Jesus’ feet. He would have grabbed them to add emphasis to his desperate plea, but that was a line he couldn’t cross.

Time stood still. He slowly lifted his eyes. Tears streamed down his face as he waited to see what Jesus would do. He saw the brightest smile break across Jesus’ face, and he saw Jesus’ eyes twinkle with joy.

“Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.” (Mark 1:41-42)

He would always remember the moment he felt Jesus’ hand on his head. He hadn’t had anyone touch him in so long. His leprosy was so bad that even if someone had touched him, he wouldn’t have been able to feel it. But he felt Jesus’ hand in that moment. And it felt good.

Jesus helped him to his feet, and then, unexpectedly, Jesus enveloped him in a huge embrace. He sunk into Jesus, and the years of pain were squeezed away. Jesus then held him at arms’ length and told him to go directly to the nearest priest to be certified as cleaned and to offer the appropriate sacrifice. (Mark 1:43-44) With one last smile, Jesus sent him on his way.

As he headed off to the priest, he thought of that morning and how he disappointed he had been to realize he was still alive. Oh how thankful he was now that the God of heaven had not answered his prayer for death. Instead, God answered his prayer for life.

This leper’s circumstances were dire, and they were impossible. There was nothing the leper could do to change his life. The impossibleness he faced could only be overcome by an encounter with Jesus. From that day forward, the leper would always be a living testimony to the power of the word.

“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’” (Mark 9:23)

This is why Binding Broken Hearts is passionate about getting God’s Word into prisons and into the hands of inmates who so desperately need to know that through the power of the Word, that which they think is impossible, becomes possible. Because these are men and women who need Jesus most.

Perhaps you want to help spread the power of His Word to an inmate who desperately needs its power. If so, please consider becoming a financial partner with us. Click here to see how you can help.

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