Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into the village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"
So often I have focused on the lepers' call, when I should have been focusing on Jesus who walks the border towns, the places on the fringe. He knew that the border town is where the outcasts dwell. He wasn't afraid to walk where others feared to tread. The lepers didn't initiate their own healing. Jesus did. He showed up where flesh was wasted and the beauty of life was discarded. He showed up to restore not only their flesh but to remove them from the isolation of their disease, to take them out of their border-line existence. I know that Jesus heals. And with healing, sometimes Jesus also relocates a person. In Judges 18:10, I see that God has chosen the best for his called people, "When you get there, you will find ...a spacious land that God has put into your hands, a land that lacks nothing whatever."
Sometimes though a leper wants to stay in the border town, because that is where they experienced the authentic God and healing. Just like that 1 leper out of 10, I want to throw myself at Jesus' feet in gratitude that he walked in the despised places. He walked in close proximity to me and where the cry of my heart reached his ears. He chose to heal me in the place of desertion. Jesus chose to walk where even I didn't want to be. Why would he do that?
What great mercy Jesus had to meet me where I was. As a leper, I couldn't travel on my eaten-away nubbins without excruciating pain; I couldn't feel the destruction of my heart; I couldn't even unbandage my own hands. Oh, but he could and he did. In Judges, God puts a new land in their hands. Now I can feel the new land which God has put in my restored hands. It makes me uncomfortable, until I see that it is a land that lacks nothing. The only land which lacks nothing is the land inhabited by the presence of God. Where Jesus is there are no insurmountable borders. He is the spacious land. He takes this cleansed leper and relocates her from the place of restriction to the place at his feet. When you have stared at his feet through your tears, you know without a doubt that they are the most beautiful feet in the whole wide world and where he walks you will gladly go.
Here's to a new border town.