The lamp’s light sliced up the darkness into dancing shadows as I lovingly gazed at the huddled forms of my wife and sleeping son. Their soft snores made a symphony with the sighing waves of the Sea of Galilee, restless after a day of fevered rigours. Occasionally, the exultation of triumphant fishermen pierced the night as they brought in a fresh haul. I have been in a dreamy state this past few years since my life took an absolutely unbelievable twist. The memorable day has long been enshrouded in the foggy mists of time but I still see it standing out with the clarity of sunny brilliance. Even though He told me to tell no one, I could never keep this tale to myself. Actually, it was the life changing event that turned me into a chronicler. Matthew would go on to write the synopsis of that day in verses 1-4 of the 8 chapter of his book, but tonight wistfully I put my pen to my scroll and write for the present and generations unborn…
Great multitudes followed at the heels of the Nazarene as he came down the mountain. A crowd made up of entertainment seekers, trendsetters, speculators, naysayers, unbelieving speculators and food lovers.
I had heard about Him and His healing powers. Even though I was supposed to give a wide berth to humanity because of my diseased skin, I got quite close to the Carpenter’s son. As I gazed into his face, revelation welled and surged in my heart. His eyes provided anchorage for the universe and in their depths eternity resided. I saw the hands which flung the stars into outer space and sprinkled planets all over the galaxies. The feet that would walk the sea, the mouth that spoke the earth into existence captivated me. I beheld the glory of The Word that the prophets proclaimed would become flesh. From His person radiated infinite power and the words written by King David sprung up in my mind. “Once have you spoken and twice have I heard this that power belongs to God!” Intuitively, I knew what the people following Him did not. I knew He was God! Involuntarily, my knees gave in and I bowed before Him in worship. Mind you I did not worship Him because He was going to heal me. I just worshipped Him for who He is. I was not sure He would be willing to touch wasted humanity like me. I was an outcast, a leper, a pariah, disdained puke, phlegmy disposal on the waste heap of the human race. Why would divinity touch disgusting humanity? However I was sure He had the power too, so I cried out… “if you are willing you can make me whole!”
He did what no one had done in years. I had forgotten what it was to have human contact. This was more than human though. I was entombed in stinking rags and the odorous miasma of days of unwashed sweat and grime was the perfume I emitted. Yet the Nazarene did not cover His nostrils like people were usually wont. He actually looked at me like a friend and not with the condescending glance I usually get. God Himself told me He was willing and touched me! It was a touch that erased all the hurts of yester-years, contact that opened up new chapters of my life. The touch was like cool water in the wilderness of Arabia, an oasis in the barren desert of my life and I drank it all with the eagerness of a thirsty pup. It was a touch of transformation. It overflowed with tenderness and was flooded with feeling. My heart was doused in oceanic depths of love so deep, I drowned. I became brand new! Skin became like a new born babe’s. My infirmed body received new life.
I learnt a lesson that day that worship is war. When we worship, God becomes willing! He will break through every barrier or protocol to touch us. People will later gloss over that story in Matthew without giving it a second thought. They skim through the pages of life not knowing that a battle raged where the Tax accountant inscribed the story of my life.
I am sure you are wondering what am talking about. As I write, tears spring up in my eyes when I remember how my life was before I met the King of glory. I was ostracized from society, had a bell to let people know a contaminant was coming their way. My destiny was marred and mired in the miry clay of hopelessness. I could not marry nor have children except if I wanted to populate the world with my ilk, human detritus. I was living but dead. However, when I worshipped I waged war on my limitations. The real lesson though is that I worshipped not for personal gains. The Messiah then superseded my wildest expectations. I worshipped and heaven extirpated my leprosy. The enemy of my destiny was erased forever! Heaven’s eraser works with the muscle of worship!
One other thing I learnt that day was the preferred order of things. Many times I waited for priests to heal me or pray and pour anointing oil on me. That was one cart I kept putting before the horse until I met the Nazarene…When I worshipped single-mindedly that day, the Lord showed me that the best order of things is to worship him first and foremost. Following this, going to priests and Levites would just be to give testimonies about the goodness of the Lord.
Most of the folks following Jesus that day were people who felt complete without the Master. They are not the ones I passionately write to. I write to those who believe they need help, those desperate for change. There was a story about a Syrian general who was a mighty man of valour but had leprosy. Leprosy might not necessarily be skin disease but anything that puts a “but” on your life. It could be spiritual, physical, financial, marital, professional, name it. Leprosy is anything that limits you or rains on your parade (Naaman was a mighty general but had leprosy). Leprosy labels one, puts a tag on people, makes one uncomfortable, taints and stigmatizes destinies. Did you notice I did not have a name? I was called the Leper. Other people with issues like me had monikers such as “The Paralytic”, “The Woman with the issue of blood”, “Blind Bartimeus (the blind son of Timeus, we knew his father’s name but did not know his)”. Leprosy is anything that is a thorn on your flesh and refuses to be dislodged. Leprosy is evil; it is anything that thwarts the destiny of a man. It announces the person like a foul odour making people smirk, sneer and give way. If I am talking to you by any means, it is time to wage war!!! Step out of the crowd, borrow a leaf from my book, follow in my steps, forget everything, bow down…..WORSHIP HIM!!!
……..The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,….Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
© 2014 Ekpo Ezechinyere