Saturday, March 28, 2009
Matthew 8:1-3 "When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.
We use the word footprint to describe a lot of things. We talk about footprints in the sand, footprints across my heart, and the footprint of a house. We can even calculate our carbon footprint, which is a measurement of our negative impact on the environment. Specifically, a footprint is the mark or impression made by a foot. Its what you leave behind when you track through a room, or walk down a path. Every where we go, we leave our footprints, both literally and figuratively.
Jesus here in Matthew left His footprint in the life of this man with leprosy. He was suffering from an incurable, highly contagious, socially degrading disease. When no one else would even get close to him, Jesus reached out and touched him. That was probably enough to fill his heart with joy. But the Savior didn't stop there. He healed him. He cured the incurable, and gave hope to him who was hopeless. What a footprint Jesus left in that man's life.
Metaphorically speaking, we too leave our footprints in the lives of others. With the things we say and do, we leave our mark or impression. That can either be a good footprint or a bad one. We may meet someone momentarily and leave a shallow impression, with either a smile or maybe a harsh word. For some others, we leave a deep and lasting impression that can affect them negatively or positively for the rest of their life.
Right now, close your eyes and think of someone who has left their footprints in your life, either good or bad. If the person you are thinking of has left a bad mark in your life, maybe even a scar, forgive them in your heart, and pray that God will help you to never leave a bad impression like that in someone else's life. If you are thinking of someone who left a good impression in your life, do whatever you can to pay it forward, and be that same kind of influence in the life of someone else. Also, thank that person if you have the chance.
Remember, wherever you go, you are always leaving your footprints.