A man with leprosy came and knelt before Jesus and said, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him saying, “I am willing” (Matt 8:1-4)
My heart collided with those four simple words…”IF You are willing…” How many times have I asked those same words in my most secret place, not even able to verbalize it most of the time. I KNOW God is willing to do it for others, but ME; if- that small word that holds so many feelings in its two letters. Am I worth it? Would You do it for me? Am I good enough to be noticed? Or am I too messed up? Am I even important enough?
In biblical times, leprosy caused one to be an outcast, alone, unwanted, unclean. For us, leprosy might represent our sin, our brokenness, our messed up lives.
So will I come like this boldly fearing leper and kneel at the feet of my Father, asking, “IF you are willing, You can clean me up” or will I let the crowds, the “friends”, yelling “unclean” intimidate me, keeping me away. Will the fear of a “no” answer keep me an outcast?
So often I have asked, “IF You are willing…” expecting a “no” answer because of the way I see myself. I wonder if this leper was scared to death to ask or was he desperate enough because he had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
He asked and Jesus reached out and touched him- touched him knowing that leprosy is highly contagious. Oh how we long for such a touch, someone willing to touch our messy, contagious places. The touch of love and then to hear, “I am willing!” His heart must have missed a few beats at hearing those precious words, “I am willing”.
I wonder if we were still long enough if we’d hear the same words, “I am willing”. We get noisy rehearsing why we are not worthy, why we don’t deserve His attention, let alone His touch. We are noisy… because we are afraid…
Will you join me on my knees in front of Jesus… quietly listening? Do you hear the gentle voice, “I am willing! I am willing to clean you up”!