Sitting on the dirt outside the city gate four outcasts stare at the ground! The feeling of being unwelcome and ignored by people has deformed their posture totally, leaving only their hands extended for alms.
They have to remain there day-by-day for it is their only hope to stay alive! There in that very place, although hated and despised, people entering or going out of the city would take pity on them and throw scraps of bread for them to feed.
But those days have long gone, and the hope of filling their bellies had melted like butter in scorching sun.
For the city had long since seen people enter to do business inside. Hunger had spread like wildfire throughout the whole corners of the city and now everyone is in the same desperate boat called Famine.
No one who is able and strong, not even the king dares to leave his castle. The fear of the enemy has pushed the city to do unthinkable acts driven by hunger and desperation. The silence of any activity is only disturbed by the rumbling of their empty stomachs.
What must they do?
Suddenly, the eyes of the lepers light up. It is a foolish and daring idea that leads them to action for themselves. Life has become too dire and the decision to wait now stands on the 'death' side of the spectrum.
There are two things that move the hearts of men, inspiration or desperation!
"Why should we sit here waiting to die?" they ask each other. "Leprosy keeps us outside the famine struck city, standing here means nothing but a direct invitation to death. What do we have to lose? Let's take our chances and try! The worse that can happen is for us to die, and that will happen whether we decide to stay or go."
What is keeping us from trying daring and bold steps towards a better future? If death is not on the list then we are in much better position than these fours lepers outside the city gate!
A lot of times we give fear the permission of 'what if that happens' to ruin the chances of 'that good thing might happen'.
Trembling and weak the lepers approach the enemy camp. Their ears are dulled by the silence surrounding the camp and their eyes are enlarged by the food and stuff inviting them inside! There is nobody to be seen!
They did not know that the moment they had awoken to 'try' their chances the Lord had multiplied their steps and increased their sound which had struck fear into the enemy’s hearts causing them to run for their lives, leaving all the food and riches behind.
We forget that what God wants is our courage in Him that says 'I will go', and 'I will try' then He himself marches first and welcomes us right there.
The abundance of food looked so surreal to their minds that they had to be dragged by their bellies to taste the reality. Oh the impatience in chewing and drinking, for it had been too long for the poor leprous mouths waiting for this moment. They hid masses of that too, for they knew soon the camp would be discovered and food would be scarce and a luxury to find.
Then, the jaws stop munching, their heads start lifting - something is not right. Yes, they love the food and the plunder but what about the people dying inside the city?
Yes, they had been mean to them and merciless a lot of times, but this was a miracle not just for them.
Like salvation, after we have tasted and enjoyed first we must share it with others.
It was hard to approach and knock on the city gate. Trying to convince the gate keepers to what they had found was hard too - who listens to some lepers? But they did not stop until someone listened so that the king and all the people were saved.
“Who can ignore someone that has tasted, enjoyed and handled the very thing you are looking for?”
What would your bold attempt do? Who or what is waiting in the city on the other side of our attempt?
Is it freedom, healing, victory, success - or just fear? The worse that can happen is that you tried -yeah? Remember that our boldness and wimpy action both speak a language that somehow directs and influences not only the path of our life but those we nurture and who look up to us.
A paraphrase from 2 Kings 7:3-9