Leprosy. A short search on the internet made me realise it was a horrific disease at that time, with no cure. It meant living in isolation from everyone, including all those you loved. People were afraid of lepers. I shuddered as I thought of Sarah’s family, so affected by such an awful disease. How hard it must have been when their father and husband – the breadwinner – was struck down and forced to live away from them.
Sarah seemed so real, and so brave. The whole family stood together in spite of Jeremiah’s isolation.
Then Jesus came.
I found myself wondering how I would have reacted to such a healing. Would I too have run off to the priests and not even stopped to show my gratitude in my excitement at what had happened; or would I have stopped and gone back to thank this man who had just changed my life?
These thoughts stopped me in my tracks. How often did I thank God for the many blessings in my life? I had a loving family; I was intelligent enough to have the chance to study medicine; and there was a potentially lucrative career ahead of me. Had I ever thanked God for these things? I knew in my heart I had not.
Perhaps this was what Benjamin meant by praying, for I found myself whispering my thanks to a God whom I was still not sure cared enough about me to listen. My very first prayer was that of quiet thanks.
Jeremiah was a fortunate man in his healing, his family and his grateful heart. I found myself echoing Sarah’s question – what did happen to the other nine? But of this we can be sure – Jeremiah’s gratitude resulted in unquestionable physical healing and restoration to his family. These are matters indeed, for which to be thankful.
I am aware of a lack of gratitude in my own life. I have taken so much for granted. The friendship I have had with your mother, and later, your father when they married has been very precious to me. My health has been good up to now – and even now as my life drains away, I find there are many things for which to be grateful. I am glad I discovered this before it was too late.
What a wide variety of people Jesus touched! The narrator of the next story is not given a name. His story is about his friend Sammy and Jesus. There is no doubt he is a typical boy! I enjoyed this story. I could relate to the boys. I hope you will too.