This post is an effort to give a voice to those unwelcome within the greater scheme of life. Even at a holy time, there are those who live in the shadows.
I am a Leper
I am one of the least of these. No status other than one of no use. I live among shadows. I am not one to be envied, but neither am I to be feared. I am no more a sinner than anyone else.
I wander around the streets at night seeking food from the garbage of pretty people. I sleep often during the day under a bridge or other place of shade. Hopeless, homeless, and heaven less.
“Look at the dirty leper!” “We don’t want an unclean thing around us!” These are words people use to disembowel me as a person. When the Christ child is born. I will matter, I will be seen. I will no longer be alone.
A Magnificent Star
I heard there were important people who follow a star, a magnificent star, like a pillar in the sky, bright and unmistakable in its celestial presence. I looked for many nights, then one cloudless evening I saw it. Yes, like a gigantic candle illuminating my path. I felt so humbled to witness this God-sent object in the sky. By faith, as if prodded by the Almighty, I followed the star.
I Saw Him
I saw Mary and Joseph as they completed their journey. They entered Bethlehem. My faith walk worked. I am pretty sure they didn’t see me. I would never embarrass them by introducing myself. I can’t compete with shepherds and wise men or angels.
From the shadows, I also saw Him. A baby held in the arms of the blessed Virgin. This is the Baby born to be The King. I fell to my knees and, from a feeling deep within me, I cried. He has come!
From the shadows,
I now dance and sing,
For in God’s mercy,
I see The King.
Now I see Him. He is the only One who loved me before the foundation of the world. One day, when I walk out from the shadows and not as afraid of people, I hope He touches me. His touch of love is all I need.
Everyone else may run from me. I am more than familiar with people who throw stones. They laugh when their stones break my skin. Hugs from friends are foreign to me. Darkness is my only embrace.
I know He will not chase me away. He came for the unlovely, of whom I am one.
His touch is all I need,
then I will be freed.
The Saviour’s kiss.
A Personal Reflection
My words wept as I wrote this post. In reflecting on this special time of year, my thoughts drove me to the condition of people today. I hesitate even now to write the concluding part of my last message of 2021.
The life of a person shunned by other people is lonely. Their lives result from bigotry, fear, or some other trait of darkened hearts. They may live in the shadows of life hidden from “pretty people,” those accepted by society.
My heart is heavy in the knowledge Canada has created its own “lepers.” A class of Canadian citizens shunned even by the politicians they elected and other loud voices. In this time in our collective history, all too prone to a trail of negative narratives, we need The King.
Even so come, Lord Jesus!
Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry. He is one of the spiritual advisors for InScribe. Alan contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017; Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018. Alan has written articles for FellowScript Magazine. Blog: https://scarredjoy.ca.He has written posts for our InScribe blog since 2015.