Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A life without pain

A few days ago I began reading "Where is God when it hurts?" by Philip Yancey. I bought the book at least three years ago but haven't started it until now.

I was astounded by Yancey's friendship and conversations with Dr. Paul Brand, a man who has done much work in India and America with people who suffer from Hansen's Disease - leprosy.

The shocking thing is learning what leprosy actually is -- a deadening of nerves that stops your ability to feel pain. It's not a flesh-eating virus that makes your joints fall off. Instead, sores happen and parts of your body fall off because of wounds and infections. When you can't feel pain, you don't know when you're pressing something too hard or pushing too much, and you do a lot of damage to your body.

How different from the stigma that is associated with leprosy! How emotionally traumatic it must be to be cut off from society, and even to think that the disease is eating you away, when all it really has done has taken away your ability to feel pain.

What do you think? There is a spiritual message, an uncovering, an awakening and finally a healing in all this. Remember all the stories of lepers in the Bible? How does this understanding change our understanding of those precious people that Jesus reached out to touch?

Perhaps they hadn't "felt" anything physically for a long time until He reached out to them. His touch may have been their first feeling, physically and emotionally.

This is astounding to me. Please let me know what you think.

To leave a comment, if you have a Blogger blog, you can sign in. But if you don't (and don't want one), just click "anonymous" and sign your name in your message so I know who you are. I really want to hear your thoughts on this because it's kind of earth-shattering for me. It's God's heart, changing the way we understood and condemned ourselves, and setting us free to love ourselves and one another as He loved us.


  • At May 01, 2005 10:12 PM, Anonymous Leslie Camacho said…

    Hi Ramone,

    if you enjoyed the stories of Dr. Paul Brand you should check out Yancey's "Soul Survivor". There is an entire chapter dedicated to Dr. Brand and the impact he had on Yancey personally. Plus its just a great book.

    Knowing what leprosy really is does change the impact of those stories. The actual diease mirrors how the majority of people (including Christians) live emotionally and spiritually. The world, like leprosy, has a deadening effect on our empathic abilities. After a while, if we don't have a way to spiritually heal, we become sympathetic to people which eventually leads to a kind of margionalization of other's needs.

    Meaning that our thoughts for others go from a genuine ache for others to a more intellectual understanding that "yes, someone is hurting" but there is no emtional or spiritual prompting to do anything about their need.

    Anyway, that's my two cents.

    Love & miss you bro.

  • At May 02, 2005 12:22 AM, Blogger Ramone said…

    Thanks Les for your comment. You're right -- we've all been like spiritual lepers -- our senses have been dulled and as a result, we lose a lot of precious things and parts of ourselves... and yet wonder why, why it happens.

    Everyone else, please leave your thoughts! I want to know what you think. I can feel a spiritual reality to this new understanding, but I don't know what it all is and what it means... it's a pull of God, a revealing of His heart and His love -- His truth that shatters the old bonds that held us down.

    Thank You, God, for revealing the truth about leprosy. I had so many wrong ideas. But I don't know quite what to think of it in sum, Lord. I know I'll think differently about it from now on, but I feel like there's something more. Liberating, you know? When You've revealed something before, You've set me free. And this, after centuries and centuries of stigma, also sets us free.

    Lord, call us as a society to repent for our cruel stigmatizing of those who have suffered because they couldn't feel pain! Lord, forgive us for ostracizing them and spreading fear! Thank You for removing the veil, Lord, for uncovering the truth so that they -- and we -- may be set free from fears. Lord, let this begin a new era in our relationships. Heal their wounded hearts, Lord, as well as their bodies. Cause us, like You, to go reach out and touch them. Even if they can't feel with their bodies, they will feel with their hearts.

    In Your love, send us, Lord. Amen in Jesus.

  • At May 02, 2005 4:24 AM, Blogger CoLor Skemes said…

    Brother Ramone,
    THank you for sharing that post about leprosy.
    To God and ramone,
    I think it's amazing this story. God I've been asking you to take away every sense of pain in my life. I've been asking you to change the way I live so that I'll be perfectly Happy. My view of that happiness is a perfect life. Me being fully healed, my family being perfect and never hurting me. A perfect job, perfect everything-- a place where I never feel any pain. NOt that the situations wouldn't be painful but I would be on a new level of consciousness and i would brush off the pain and be happy-- all the time! That's soooooo false! That view is how I grew up, it was my coping mechanism. I grew up in pain so I chose to be "happy" so i wouldn't have to feel pain.
    God, I don't want to be a leper! I don't want to lose my nose, my phalanges, my arms and legs- I don't want my skin to be cut away by my inability to feel pain. Oh jesus forgive my ways! Forgive me for using a disease to "heal me." I understand God that I am healed in your presence, FEELING Everything. God I hate feeling. I hate feeling!!!!! Because when I was young, I didn't know how to feel. When I felt, it hurt. So feeling=Hurt. But that's not true. Help me to understand that Pain can be dealt with on a new dimension. I can be full of pain for myself, for others, for this world, full of your hearts pain, and I am fully living! Whoa.. God Whoa. That's deep.
    How can I be fully living when I am fully in pain. Not the despair pain of the enemy. The pain of my Father's heart. The compassion. The sensitivity. The LOVE that cause pain. More love sometimes means more pain. Like you said Ramone, The more you love, the more it hurts. God... I understand. Forgive my leprosy and heal me of my disease! Heal me God! Heal me!! Thank you for reaching out to me emotionally and physically all my life. I didn't realize what was happening, i didn't realize that you were doing to me what i've read you doing to the lepers in the bible.
    To be healed as a leper would be to have nerves come back so we can feel both pain and delightful stimulation. we can feel temperature, pressure, texture,-- so we can feel each other. And God i was asking you to take my feeling away. GOD! Thank you for your forgiveness!
    God, I want to feel. Please give me back my feeling. OH LORD I get scared. BUt Perfect Love cast out all fear. Thank you Jesus.
    Jesus, Help me to feel!

    Ramone, thank you for your open heart. Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts because GOd used it to open my heart and mind to bring healing to me. Thank you brother Ramone!

  • At May 10, 2005 11:41 PM, Anonymous Melvin said…

    Hey Ramone

    I just read your blog and I found the book I need. I have been looking for a book which has the same story line. I hope it is avilable here in tokyo.

    God Bless, Take care.

    In prayer


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