Caring for the Unseen Among Us


By Adam Chaney

Adam ChaneyAdam Chaney

My life dramatically changed a few months ago, while reading a book about Christian community development. A single sentence opened my eyes and spirit to an issue I had not seen before. The line read: “Serious mental illness is the leprosy of our day.”[1]

Scripture reveals that lepers were required to live away from normal society, separated from the camp, or outside the city walls (Num. 5:1-4; 12:10-15). Theologically, the people of God considered leprosy to be a curse and punishment from God (2 Kings 5:7; 2 Chron. 26:20), making the infirmed person unclean and unfit for community living. No one was even allowed to touch them. Yet, in Matthew 8:1-4, Jesus defies the social standards and stigmas as he “stretched out his hand and touched” a man with leprosy, because our Lord chose to see the man and care for his infirmity.


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