On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well." Luke 17:11-19
Having survived several very serious surgeries, I know that there is a huge difference between when the surgeons work is done and when I am really whole again. Being whole, being well truly is something that involves body, mind and spirit. It is more than the end of pain. Being made well consists of our whole beings, a place of gratitude and joy. when we are not only physically restored but inwardly transformed by love.
Jesus is on the road and approached by a group of lepers. This encounter would have shot fear into anyone's heart. The disciples wouldn't want to get anywhere near these folks and were terrified by the encounter. Jesus immediately healed them and sent them to the priest, who would let them back among their own people. Lepers were shunned and avoided by everyone ans the sooner they got permission from the priest they could go home to their loved ones. But one turned back in gratitude. One turned back and found he was made whole. His heart and body took the time to seek Jesus, to seek God incarnate in thanksgiving for the new life, and his transformed self. This one leper is an invitation to us all to take time for gratitude so that we might see the fullness of God's love for us.
Today I ask God to help me take the time to be grateful. May we see the healing and new lives we have been given, and may we celebrate that wholeness by giving thanks to God. May we see the true nature of God as we come face to face with the miracles in our lives.