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  • Rev. Carrie Cesar

The Tenth Leper

There is a story in the Bible of how ten lepers were healed by Jesus (Luke 17:11-19). And the one who is doubly ostracized because he is not only a leper but a foreigner is the only one who comes back to give thanks. Maybe he comes back because he is the one who can take nothing for granted. Maybe he turns back and finds the source of this full joy of a new life because he never thought it would be possible. Only the one who longs body and soul to find a home for his whole self, receives salvation. The kind of thankfulness the tenth leper expresses is the kind that wells up from the deepest caverns of his many years of yearning for the better life he felt he had lost for good. It’s thankfulness grounded in his sadness, his belief that a dream like this would never be possible. The tenth leper is the one who notices how rare, how singular, and how gorgeous grace is when it comes to the border and says, “Come on in!” And with a big smile on his face I bet Jesus says it loud and clear: "You are welcome here because your faith has made you whole". The leper’s expression of falling in love with God is what has saved him. His gratitude has made all the difference." Jesus shows this man that the way he responded by springing forth out of an appreciation for his new life is amazing. Jesus essentially says to him, "You are different from the rest. Your faith has made you different. Your love shone in the simple act of thankfulness, and all that you have become when you express yourself to God with a heart of loving thankfulness, have made the difference. Your faith has saved you. With arms wide open, Jesus says, “Let me embrace you for who you really are.” It seems like this would be an easy thing for any of us to do for others. But how often do we really do it? I find that our ministry at The Guest House is a great way to have this same kind of experience, because we have the chance to help those who are searching for a place to begin life again. Out of deep emotion and pain they birth a joy for life that most of us can’t imagine. We help them on their journey and in doing so we may be lucky enough to meet some of the ones who can show us how to fully appreciate life and love and God all over again. Please keep posted and see how you can be more involved in the lives of people who just need to know the real meaning of welcome.

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            "Be not forgetful

     to entertain strangers, 

       for thereby some                     have entertained

       angels unawares."

                          Hebrews 13:2

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