I marvel that the Most High came to earth and touched the untouchables.
It didn’t matter if they were untouchable because of their culture – Samaritans, vocation – tax collectors, disease – leprosy or their sin – prostitutes. Jesus, being full of compassion, touched them.
The spirit of the world draws us to the lives of the rich and famous. But the Spirit of Jesus draws us with compassion into the lives of the least and last.
Maybe that’s why I was sad and thinking about Irfan Masih when I couldn’t sleep at 2:30 this morning.
Irfan wasn’t just an “untouchable” who was born into the lower caste that is responsible for cleaning Pakistan’s sewers. He was a Christian and a son of the Most High God. He was my brother.
Irfan died last month after rescuing three unconscious co-workers who were trapped in a sewer and overcome from breathing toxic gases. After the rescue, Irfan also passed out from the gas and his brother physically carried him to the hospital ER.
The ER was staffed with Muslim doctors who refused to treat or even touch Irfan because he was a Christian and covered with sewage. Irfan died in the ER less than 30 minutes later as his brother frantically attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in-between his hopeless cries for help.
Sewer cleaning jobs in Pakistan are reserved for Christians, Muslims are not even allowed to apply for them. The Christians, who are oppressed and uneducated, are forced out of desperation to take these jobs – just as their fathers and grandfathers did before them.
Upon hiring, Christians are required to swear on their Bible that they will always be a sewer cleaner. They’re hopelessly bound to this multi-generational cycle of oppression and virtual slavery.
Our compassionate God in Heaven hears their cries, just as He heard His people cry when they were oppressed and enslaved by Pharaoh thousands of years ago. And, He who touched the untouchables is saying to us, “follow Me” and “go and do the same”.*
Please ask God to comfort Irfan’s family and pray for the strength and relief for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan.
grace and peace,
* John 12:26; Luke 10:37
Source: WorldWatch Monitor and BBC News