“Jesus didn’t seek the rights of lepers”

I’m reading about Father Gregory Boyle’s experience working alongside gang members in LA. His book, Tattoos on the Heart, has this quote in it that was like a flash on the page when I read it last night. I’d like to hear more about his reason for making this distinction in the work he does. But even without knowing more, I like where his words took me.

It’s like he’s saying activism and other types of crowd-based work are much less important, almost less like Jesus, than the pain and struggle that come from human vulnerability and faith. That’s always encouraging news for a social “drop-out” like me…

Jesus was not a man for others. He was one with others. There is a world of difference in that. Jesus didn’t seek the rights of lepers. He touched the leper even before he got around to curing him. He didn’t the champion the cause of the outcast. He was the outcast. He didn’t fight for improved conditions for the prisoner. He simply said, “I was in prison.”

The strategy of Jesus is not centered in taking the right stand on issues, but rather in standing in the right place–with the outcast and those relegated to the margins.