While thankfully not a leprosy sufferer, I have dealt with eczema for many years, including a severe bout on my hands that left them virtually unusable. At their worst, swollen with horrendous peeling, I kept them hidden out of embarrassment.
Many nights, I lay in bed, tears streaming down my face with the same prayer on my lips, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” During that time, and even now, when I read today’s Gospel of the leper, my heart stirs with empathy and a strong kinship.
Unlike the leper, my prayer would take years to be answered, but in God’s perfect timing, and according to his loving will, my hands were eventually, miraculously healed completely.
Like the leper, I knew the healing power found in Jesus. While I longed for physical healing, what I found instead was profound spiritual healing. During the three years of battling this particular eczema flare, I learned some of the most valuable lessons of my life. And, inadvertently, my story too glorified God, as so many people ended up walking alongside me in witnessing my suffering, prayers, and eventual healing…