Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Clean Man

The cold and shattering words cut right through the heart of the man standing in front of the priest; "You are unclean". The words not only ripped robes they tore away everything the man loved; his wife, his children, his home, all left behind, all ripped away. With the words the guards were ordered to escort the man to the city gate and from there the poor leper would first announce his curse to all. He was reminded that the Law of Moses dictated that he was banned from the city and every time a Jew came within the sound of his voice that he must cover his mouth and shout to all his curse, unclean, unclean, I am unclean. The words pronounced over him were worse than a curse they were words of damnation.

Can anybody really understand what it is like to be an outcast? A real outcast, banished from your home, your bed, your wife and children. For a while he was sure that somebody was going to come to tell him that the priest made a mistake and he was welcomed back into the community. He knew that as soon as he heard the words he would run faster than his legs ever carried him before. He would run to his home and grab his wife and embrace her and smell her sweet hair and kiss her tender lips. For days he waited within earshot of the gate for the liberating words to come to his ears and aching heart. No one ever came to the gate with the words he ached for.

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