This heart moving story has help give me a greater perspective on what is beautiful in God’s eyes! May it spur us on in heralding the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!
“…This poor victim of elephantiasis became a radiant Christian and could do nothing other than tell other people of the grace of God which He had shown in sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for them. He lived in a small African village and determined that every soul in that village should hear the good news of salvation. It was extremely difficult for him to walk with the monstrous legs that bore him about, but he thought nothing of the pain but toiled on from hut to hut to tell those who dwelt there about the Savior who had come into his life. Each evening he would return to his own hut where he was maintained by the kindness of his relatives. At the end of several months he was able to report to the missionary that he had visited every hut in the village and that he was now starting to take the gospel message to a nearby village about 2 miles away. Each morning, he would start out, painfully walk the two miles to that village and return the two miles before sundown to his own hut. Finally there came the day when he had visited every hut in the neighboring village. His work being done in these two villages, he remained at home for some weeks but began to be more and more restless. He spoke to the missionary, who was also a medical doctor, about another village that was about twelve miles away through rugged jungle. He asked if the gospel had been taken to that village. As a boy, before he had been afflicted, he had traveled the jungle path to that village, and he remembered that it was a large village and that there were many people there, and he knew that they need the good news of the Savior. He was advised not to think of going to that village, but day after day the burden grew upon him. One day, his family came to the missionary and said that the man had disappeared before dawn, and could not be found anywhere. Afterwards, the full story became known. He had started down the path toward the distant village. Step after weary step he had dragged his leathery legs and gigantic feet along the path that led to his goal. The people of the village later told how he had come to them when it was already noon; his feet were further swollen, bruised and bleeding. He had been forced to stop and rest again and again and the painful journey had taken many hours. They offered him food but before he would eat he began to tell the people about Jesus. Up and down the village he went, even to the very last hut, telling them that the God of all creation was Love and that He had sent His only Son to die that their sins might be removed. He told how the Lord Jesus had been raised from the dead and had come into his heart bringing such joy and peace. As the sun was low in the evening sky, he started on his way down the jungle path toward home. The darkness of Africa is a terrible darkness, and the night can bring forth many creatures from the jungle. The sun went down and the poor man dragged himself along the path through the night guided by some insight that kept him from going astray. He later told his pastor that his fear of the night and the animals which might come upon him was more than balanced by the joy that he had in his heart, as he realized that he had told a whole village about the Lord Jesus Christ. Toward midnight, the missionary doctor was awakened by a noise on his front porch. He listened but all seemed still. Somehow, he could not go back to sleep and he went to the door with a light to see what had caused the noise. There at the door to the hospital he found the poor man lying on the porch. He had returned to the village from his long trip and the stumps of his legs were bleeding and wounded. The missionary called his helpers, and they lifted the man, almost unconscious into one of the beds in the little hospital. The doctor said that in all his years of practicing medicine in the African jungle he had never seen such a frightful sight. The man’s feet, ruined and twisted by his disease, had been torn and ravaged by his long journey. Unashamed, the doctor told how he had bent over those bleeding feet to minister to them, and as he wiped away the blood and cleaned and bandaged them, he told how his own tears had fallen with the ointment upon them. The doctor ended the story by saying: ‘In all my life I do not know when my heart was more drawn to another Christian believer. All I could think of was the verse in the Word of God, “How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good tidings that publish peace….'” emphasis mine (James Boice Commentary on Romans, Vol.III pgs. 1249-1251)