THE GRATEFUL LEPER


Read the story a few times slowly. Notice what emotions arise within you as you read it. If you find it helpful, journal about how the story makes you feel.


Luke 17:11-19 Living Bible (TLB)


11 As they continued onward toward Jerusalem, they reached the border between Galilee and Samaria, 12 and as they entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, sir, have mercy on us!”


14 He looked at them and said, “Go to the Jewish priest and show him that you are healed!” And as they were going, their leprosy disappeared.


15 One of them came back to Jesus, shouting, “Glory to God, I’m healed!” 16 He fell flat on the ground in front of Jesus, face downward in the dust, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a despised Samaritan.


17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the nine? 18 Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?”


19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”

Read the poem below. Feel free to read it multiple times or even out loud if that helps.


On my face

In the dust

How did I get here?

I was healed

How was I healed?


I was traveling

In one direction

And met Jesus

On the way


He told me

To turn around

Towards

The home of

My enemy

And as I went

I was healed


It was there

On the road

Walking

Side-by-side

With those

I thought

Hated and

Despised me

That I found

My healing


In my joy

I turned again

Towards Jesus

I ran to Him


When I saw Him

I was undone

I fell down

Into the dust

On my face


I was

Unprotected

Unguarded

On my face

In the dust

My gratitude

Spilled

Into worship


Some might say

A posture of

Desolation

But for me

A posture of

Freedom

Of trust

In Jesus

And His companions


Those who

Were

My enemies

Now

Watch my back

As I surrender

At His feet


A voice says

Get up

But I cannot

Jesus gives

Permission

Compels me

To stay

Until the work

Of humility

Is done

Until joy

Is complete

Until worship

Blooms

Into praise


I encountered

Jesus

On the

In-between road

The border

Between His world

And mine


When He sent me

Away

In the opposite

Direction

Towards

My enemy

I found

Healing


I turned back

Towards Him

And found Him

Again

In the demilitarized zone


The space

Of peace

Of obscurity


Between peoples

And ideologies

Between me

And Him

Between my people

And His people

Between my beliefs

And His

Truths


I will

Dwell here

In the

Unclear

Undefined

Land

That belongs

To no one

To everyone


The space

Where people

Can meet from

Both sides

Where people

Feel safe

No matter

Which land

They come from


The space

Where Jesus is

On the margins

With the outcasts


The space

Where

Sick people dwell

Where

Healing begins


The place

Of unknowing


Take some time to reflect on the following questions.


Who is my enemy?


If I were to walk towards or with my enemy instead of away from them, what might that look like?


OR


How do I experience Jesus when I have changed direction in the past, seemingly against His command?


Am I currently facing a decision to change the direction of my life?


List the considerations that should go into play in that process.


OR


In what way do I feel like I am on my face in the dust right now?


Speak the words of joy and gratitude that you are experiencing in this posture of vulnerability.


Consider whether the experience of feeling undone is coming to completion.


What work of God needs to happen within me to complete it?


What are my expectations of what will happen when I get up?


End your time with silent prayer.


Allow the love of Jesus to flow over you.


Worship Him as best you can wherever you are in your relationship with Him.

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