Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Dr. Paul Brand died last month in Seattle. As I reflect on the life of this amazing man -- a surgeon/missionary who cared for leprosy patients in India, tenderly restoring bodies and hearts -- I remember the joy of reading IN HIS IMAGE, FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE, and THE FOREVER FEAST. In FEARFULLY he wrote, "I have sometimes wondered why leprosy merits its own mission; I know of no 'Malaria Mission' or 'Cholera Mission.' I think the reason is the starving need of leprosy patients for human touch. It is a unique and terrible need, and Christian love and sensitivity meet it best." In SOUL SURVIVOR, Philip Yancey named Dr. Brand as one of his heroes and guides in faith. Reflecting on their work together (Yancey coauthored IMAGE and FEARFULLY with Brand), he wrote: "We made an odd couple, Dr. Brand and I. I was a young punk in my mid-twenties with a bushy Art Garfunkel-style hair; Brand was a dignified, silver-haired surgeon characterized by proper British reserve. In my role as a journalist I had interviewed many subjects: actors and musicians, politicians, successful business executives, Olympic and professional athletes, Nobel laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners. Something attracted me to Brand at a deeper level than I had felt with any other interview subject. For perhaps the first time, I encountered genuine humility."

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