Following in the footsteps of the leper

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 9, 2013

It was a terrible condition.
The disease that isolated its victims didn’t travel alone, for the mention of the word brought fear, dread and despair. As soon as the first white patches appeared on the skin, terror swept through the unfortunate and his entire family. Leprosy.
The leper was sent away, forever, without a kiss, a handshake, a hug or even a pat on the back. No touching allowed. In addition, the leper was to tear his clothes, wear his hair loose and unbrushed, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!” should he ever come near the healthy. Doomed to a miserable existence difficult to call a life, lepers were forced to dwell outside of the community.
Enter Jesus.
Ten lepers saw Him. Despite their instructions, their past shouts of “Unclean!” and their present condition, they “called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’” (Luke 17:13.) Right here, in the middle of
this scene, I want to make a note to pay attention to my vocabulary. To watch the things that come out of my mouth. To move from complaining to positive, faith-filled declarations. To realize my words frame my future. To move my eyes and my words from present conditions and look to Jesus for help. However, I don’t want to miss the end of the story.
Jesus sent them to the priests to be declared clean, and they were cleansed on the way. “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him… Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?’” (Luke 17:15-17)
Before returning to his family and running into his now bright future, the grateful man bowed in worship to the One whose words changed everything.
In a month dedicated to Thanksgiving, I want
to follow in the steps of the grateful leper, bow at the feet of Jesus and thank Him for all He has done. It’s a little easier this month, when my Facebook friends are daily posting their blessings. My personal challenge is maintaining continual appreciation and living with an attitude of gratitude.
Now that’s a wonderful condition.    
Ronny may be reached at