By: Ely Lagajino
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1John 1:9 (NKJV)
The success of our work inspired our group to visit all the barrios of that rebel stricken town. We worked by twos from Monday to Friday before returning to our home base. We prepared food for five days and slept at barangay halls.
After the third day, our bags filled with heavy coins. Thursday morning, we reached the farthest assignment. We saw two separate houses before the barrio proper. A councillor lived in the first. He ordered books, and we got advance information. Then he suggested that we skip the next big old house surrounded by trees and shrubs; quite a distance away. As my companion and I walked we became curious. Could there be some legendary stories of fairies occupying the house; a white lady perhaps?
Nearing the house we saw a lady of average height and she was brown, not white. We decided to drop by, suddenly, a white-spotted old man appeared. Lem, my companion whispered, “He’s a leper.” That was my first time to see a man with leprosy. With all ignorance about this highly contagious disease, I felt so excited to deliver a sales presentation to a leper. I had no fear of possible infection.
The father and daughter smiled with eagerness to order books and receive our free pamphlets. We handed the receipt to the lady, but she passed it on to her father, who had only three fingers left. After signing, he dug into his pocket for a handful of coins and gave them to me as deposit, then we bade them goodbye.
On the delivery date, we could no longer locate the leper’s house. The barrio folks told us that the father died several weeks ago, and the family decided to burn the house—what sad news I can still recall, 43 years ago.
During the time of Christ, leprosy was always associated with sin. There was no healing except by the power of God. Today, the disease is curable; but we need Jesus’ healing power to cure our leprosy of sin.