Thursday, September 29, 2005

Lend a Helping Hand

Philip Yancey is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I am currently reading "In the Likeness of God" which is co-written by Dr. Paul Brand. Dr. Brand was a leading leprosy doctor, and he uses his tremendous insight into how the body works to explain how the Body of Christ (the church) should work. While every chapter has given me pause, there is one story in particular that has stuck with me.
It is the story of a Frenchman named Abbe Pierre. He was a Catholic friar assigned to work among the beggars after World War II. As help was slow in coming, and most people were not interested in the plight of the beggars, he set about showing them how to do their tasks better. Then he led them to build a warehouse and start a business. "Finally, Pierre inspired each beggar by giving him responsibility to help another beggar poorer than himself...After years of this work in Paris, there were no beggars left in that French city."

Can you imagine the impact in our own city if each person set out to help someone poorer than themselves?

But get this - Pierre came to see Dr. Brand at his leprosy hospital in India because he had a problem:

" 'I must find somebody for my beggars to help!' he declared and had begun searching in other places around the world. It was during one of those trips that he had come to Vellore. He concluded by describing his dilemma. 'If I don't find people worse off than my beggars, this movement could turn inward. They'll become a powerful, rich organization and the whole spiritual impact will be lost! They'll have no one to serve.' "

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