by Dan Wolgemuth
The 17th chapter of the book of Luke records this amazing story of compassion, as Jesus not only ventures into close proximity with a collection of unclean lepers, but then He extends His miraculous healing power to them.
Ten lepers who stood at a distance… a social distance with a stamp of shame.
In that moment, Jesus healed. His words chased away the humiliation. His words bridged the gap to hope.
“Then one of them…” Just one. Words of gratitude echoing back from the halls of healing. One of them.
Then the question. The riveting and rhetorical question. The nine?
Nine with a short memory.
How could they forget? Where was the gratitude?
We’re all living through an unthinkable reality. A reality that we desperately want to get through. And so the question that keeps running through my mind is… “When we get to the other side. When COVID-19 is not the only story in the news. When the death toll numbers aren’t front and center… will we forget the lessons God taught us? Will our ears be retuned to the frequency of the culture? Will my quieter and more reflective patterns once again succumb to boarding passes and hotel stays?
Like the other nine… will I simply move on. Will I take the power of God for granted, yet again. Will Jesus look at me and say, “Where are the nine?”
So, perhaps as a hedge against indifferent ingratitude, start a list. Your Luke 17 list. Your COVID-19 list. A list of what you never want to go back to. A list of what you have savored and learned in the midst of this current reality.
Everything has changed. Everything. Let’s not forget what God is teaching us. Now.
Gratitude germinates in the fertile ground of uncertainty, and it blooms in a return trip to the feet of Jesus.
Nine with a short memory. Never forget.
Make a list to remind you, to inspire you, to escort you back to Jesus.