“A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’” - Mark 1:40-41
Today in her sermon, Dr. Rev. Dimock spoke about the church’s important role in providing community, welcome and hospitality especially to those who feel isolated or marginalized. We may not have lepers as they did in biblical times but there is no shortage of people suffering in silence and isolation in our modern day society. I attended a Bell Let’s Talk presentation last week where the speaker, Solange Tuyishime, spoke about her difficulty in seeking counseling after the loss of a child because of an ingrained belief that therapy was for ‘crazy’ people. There is still a stigma associated with illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders. I believe that reaching out to those in pain and isolation is one of the most important tasks Jesus has left us but also one of the most difficult. We often feel uncomfortable, or sometimes awkward because we don’t know how to help. But I think showing up and being present, even as a silent and compassionate witness, is often enough.