Philip Yancey in his book THE JESUS I NEVER KNEW tells about Dr. Paul Brand, a leprosy specialist who works all over the world on that ancient disease which has killed so many. The greater pain of leprosy comes from the outside, the pain of rejection imposed on its victims by the surrounding community.
Dr. Brand tells about a bright young man in India whom he was treating for leprosy. In the course of the examination, Dr. Brand laid his hand on the patient’s shoulder. To his surprise the man began to shake with muffled sobs. Dr. Brand asked the translator, “Did I say something wrong?” The translator asked the patient and received an answer. Then she said to Dr. Brand, “No sir, you did not say anything wrong. He is crying because you put your hand on his shoulder. Until he came here, no one has touched him for many years.”
Sometimes the power of the touch is almost that dramatic. Never doubt that we Christians are dealing in power, but it’s not the worldly kind. Our power, the power of Christ activated by the Holy Spirit, is the only kind that can save a soul, transform a life, and change society in a lasting way.
“People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed” (Matthew 14:35).