Dr Paul Brand was born in India to missionary parents and spent most of his life caring for people who couldn’t feel pain - people with leprosy. He spent much of life studying pain. At one point he was given a grant to develop a system of warning that would protect people who couldn’t feel pain. So he worked on a glove that would make a sound or have lights that flickered when the hand was in danger. He discovered that even though the person would receive the warning, they would not change their course from the dangerous action without a negative consequence like pain screaming for them to stop what they were doing.
One of Dr Brand's greatest discoveries was that people with leprosy do not have "bad flesh" that just rots away. Actually, their flesh is healthy. The problem is nerve endings that have died. With the death of their nerve endings comes the inability to sense danger to their bodies. Lepers live pain free.
Don't you wish you could live life in the absence of pain? The absence of pain is the greatest enemy of the leper. Again and again they harm their bodies without even knowing it because they have no system of pain to warn them.
Dr Brand knew that lepers often went blind. Why? Because they didn't blink. They didn't blink because they didn't feel the pain that we feel when our eyes dry out.
Dr Brand was puzzled by the fact that lepers often lost fingers and toes overnight. He knew that they weren't simply disappearing into thin air, so he commissioned workers to observe the lepers sleeping. To the surprise of the workers, they found that rats would come in and nibble the exposed fingers and toes. The lepers, who did not feel pain, never awoke to brush away the rats.
Brand found himself at one time with an area of skin that seemed numb, unable to feel. He stuck a pin in this spot just below his ankle and felt nothing. He plunged it in deeper and a drop of blood spilled out and still he felt nothing. He went to bed that night assuming the worst - that he had himself contracted leprosy. The thought of it was devastating. The next morning he arose, jabbed that same spot again with the pin. This time he yelled.
Thank God for pain!
Pain is a gift. One that can be difficult to be grateful for, but imagine what would happen if you didn’t have pain screaming to you that something is wrong.
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Lorenzo Edwards on Feb 20, 2008
You have to understand this. If the enemy destroys your house, you can build another one. But if he kills your dreams if he destroys your visions. He can destroy your future. And I come to encourage the saints of God on today. Do not stand by and let