Flesh decaying daily, without feeling.
Life decaying, with never-ending anguish of heart.
Lepers in the time of Christ’s earthly advent were stoned, driven from families, homes, comforts, and all that their lives had been. They were not allowed to drink from the common wells. They were only allowed to live in graveyards, the living dead among the “dead” dead.
“Unclean! Unclean!” they had to constantly call, when others came near them… so the unafflicted would not even breathe the same air. They ran the terrible risk of being stoned to death when others heard their self-proclaimed label.
But in Bodie and Brock Thoene’s series of books, the A.D. Chronicles , some lepers lived in the Valley of Mak’ob in Israel, a refuge set aside for them by King David. The lepers had one hope: to find the Messiah.
Bless GOD! In the second book of the series, Second Touch, the leper named Cantor spoke these insightful words as he talked with Lily, a fellow leper.
“You’re right…. we’re all lepers. Growing numb, then breaking off bit by bit. But this disease isn’t just about what happens to the outside of a person…. A leper is the visible picture of what the human soul looks like when when sin takes over a life. When a person becomes numb to sin, he is eaten alive by it. That’s why the [people] Outside [the leper’s valley] fear us so. Our bodies are the external image of corrupt souls.
“And yet, I look at you and know it’s possible for a beautiful soul to live in spite of physical suffering.
Lily responds: “But I’m not suffering, Cantor. Except, you know, my heart. When I think about Sarai [ a prostitute] and the others. And all the ones around me who are so lonely. So desperate that they’ll do anything…. anything for a little happiness.”
Cantor says: “Their souls are like their bodies.”
Questioning, Lily says: “Can a soul be unclean? Can a heart have leprosy? Can the inner man be so numb he no longer feels and so increases his injury day by day? GOD’S mercy could heal such a heart. I believe it. Forgive and heal. Restore the feeling. Bring back what is eaten away in us.”
p. 32, Second Touch, by Bodie and Brock Thoene.
And so the story goes, weaving a wonderful account of those who, realizing the Messiah is their only hope, live through their horrific, heart-wrenching days, looking towards the coming of The LORD.
HIS+ coming, for they heard that a mighty prophet was at work in the land, is the hope that keeps them alive.
Is it ours?
In the Name of The FATHER,
HIS BELOVED SON+ JESUS CHRIST, OUR LORD,
AND THE BLESSED HOLY SPIRIT.