What stirs up a leper's inside?

A fight from which she cannot hide?

What creates this state of grief

From which she tries to find relief?


Does disease or physical pain

Cause her, daily, to go insane?

Or does it stem from something more

Than disfigurement and open sores?


Her task is to protect, defend

Her Soul-Light circling end to end.

Deflecting hurtful, harmful acts

From inside, outside, front and back.


Ideas, thoughts, words and deeds

Can act as deadly poisonous feed

To kill the leper's shining Light

And leave her in perpetual night.


She knows her sores are bad enough

Making life pretty tough.

But living in perpetual dark

Would slowly, surely break her heart.

People tried to feed her shame,

Embarrassment, and ugly names,

Guilt, doubt and false-made claims

To kill the Light and "win" the game.


With each defeat, her Light got strong

Like building a muscle for right and wrong,

The leper's Light broke through the dark

Making a beacon for fainting hearts.


And then they threw a deadly curve,

A vicious cut to weakened nerves.

Imagine the leper's total despair

When all pretended she wasn't there.


The leper's Soul-Light flickered and spit.

Some say it even dimmed a bit.

It took great strength for her to resist

Not feeling important enough to exist.

Deep down, she felt her muscle flex

When she recalled God's Great Text.

"Unto the least of these," she read,

And slowly, firmly raised her head.


"I am important to the Whole,

As important as any Soul.

Just because THEY cannot see

Does not take Light away from me.


The only way my Light goes out

Is if I believe what they throw about."

Her Soul-Light doubled its size that day

Because she refused to play their way.


Lord knows, there are no perfect Lights.

That never flicker or succumb to the night.

So when your Soul-Light feels insecure

Remember the leper's way to endure.


© Lynnette Schuepbach, January 3, 1993