April 19, 2013

Jesus touches the untouchable

Background: In Jesus’ earth era, leprosy had become a common skin condition, which included everything from a flesh-eating illness to a bad case of zits. To avoid spreading serious disease, the affected person had to remain outside the city in a most solitary place, isolated from family and the rest of the community. If skin eventually began to clear, the person still could not rejoin the community without first showing evidence to the priest, who also served as physician. Until the priest gave an “all clear,” the person could not come near anyone without loudly crying, “Unclean! Unclean!”

In a town
[yes, in town where lepers were not allowed]
a man filled with leprosy came to Jesus
and fell down onto the ground
on his face –
[his pitiful face, which, maybe, had only a little left
of a nose, a lip, a chin.]
And when he’d fallen face-down before the LORD,
he implored, “If You will,
You can heal my skin and make me clean again.”

“I will!” Jesus said. “Be healed!”
and He reached out His immaculate hand
to touch the untouchable man,
and immediately the leprosy left.

Jesus charged him to tell no one
he might meet, but go
to the priest and make an offering
as Moses commanded and show
skin proof
evidence of healing.

Still, the news spread,
and more and more people came to Jesus
to hear Him and be healed of all that ailed
them each day until He withdrew His
own face into a most solitary place
to pray.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, prayer-a-phrased lines drawn from today’s Daily Bible Reading in Luke 5:12-16.


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