Alienated he stood; on the edge of a world where everybody avoided even a mere glance as if the touch of eyes would make them also unclean, an untouchable.
Even his name was forgotten, cut from his soul even as he was cut off from society, forced to live away from warmth of fire or hearth where the icy finality of a cruel death awaited him. Leper was his name now, a living corpse with decaying limbs and a heart that still ached to be embraced.
Leper found his home in the caves, where a cluster of ragged and other pitiable souls gathered, away from the village living off the slops left by the fishermen and farmers. But as their disease progressed even the fishermen and farmers no longer came as their very sight caused fear and loathing.
Wrapping their rags as best they could to hide the oozing sores and deformed faces they crept to the edge of a gathering crowd. With wavering voices they cried out for the crowd to have pity. But the crowd paid them no heed so sorrowfully Leper bowed his head to walk away, hugging his sickness to himself. There was no mercy for them here today.
But wait, a Man caught his eye; a Man who did not look away. Leper raised his voice, "Epistates, Master", he called. He heard someone call the Man, Jesus. "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us". The other nine joined in the cry for pity.
Leper and the nine sought sustenance for the day but this Man gave so much more. He touched hearts that were cold with fear. He embraced souls that had lost their name. This one who was also a Samaritan was now called brother.
Brother dropped to his knees, giving thanks. In the healing he also found his home.
"They stood some way off and called to him
'Jesus, master, take pity on us' " (Luke 17:13)
To know Maria Egilsson is to know someone who is passionate about issues women face, their relationship with themselves, with God and the world around them. Maria can be contacted through her blog at http://thewoman2woman.blogspot.ca/