Picture this: A man is dressed in dirty clothes with holes and shreds. As we approach we see he is disfigured and has scaly, crusty white patches on his arms. Some of his fingers are missing. People begin to move away from him and murmur sounds of disgust.
Then we see a young man and a small group of his friends nearing the man. The man calls out something. He is calling out for help. His friends shrink back, but the young man moves forward and reaches out and touches the man. Almost instantly, we see the man's flesh restored to normal. His fingers are whole. His skin is not scaly and crusty, but smooth and new. Onlookers, still at a cautious distance, gasp. The man in latters praises God.
Maybe this is what it was like when Jesus looked on the leper with compassion. This photo is found in the gospel of Mark in chapter 1, we read of the incident in which Jesus looked upon a leper with eyes of compassion and a will to help him.
"A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. "If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean," he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. "I am willing," he said. "Be healed!" Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed." -- Mark 1:40-42
I love the part that says the Son of God was "moved with compassion," and "I am willing." It is reassuring to know that God sees me with eyes of compassion, and that he is willing to help me. On the days when I feel like a leper on the sidelines of life, ignored, cast off, weighed down in my sin, or hurt by another's sin; I pull out this picture and see God and his compassion. It reminds me of the truth about God and me. I return the photo to the album and move forward with new courage, faith and strength.