“There is going to be a twenty-five-year class reunion,” Karen said glancing at Margo.
“I definitely want to go!” Margo beamed with excitement.
It was rare to see a former classmate around town. Many of them had passed away over the years. Margo always tried to say something positive and encouraging when she did see one. But Margo had not always felt this way about her former classmates. Fifteen years ago she received news of the ten-year class reunion. She had just moved out of her parents’ home and into her very first apartment. Upon opening her invitation, mixed emotions flooded her mind. For one brief moment she was interested, but the next moment clouds of anxiety shadowed her.
She recalled the rejection she had often felt during those four years of school . . . being excluded from the mainstream. Margo always felt others viewed her as a loser. Like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon, Margo longed to break free from the stigma that confined her. Instead, she opted out of the class reunion festivities that year.
In Simon’s time, leprosy was a very serious skin disease. People believed the affliction was a direct punishment from God. Lepers were isolated from the community and were required to live outside the camp or city gates. Although Jesus healed Simon of Bethany, he was still referred to as the leper. This did not stop Simon from showing hospitality in his home to Jesus and others. People may have a tendency to associate a person with their past. Jesus values and sees us for who we are and what we will be. When we encounter Jesus and experience His love, we cannot be the same.
As Margo studied the Word of God, she found hope and her purpose in the Lord who loved her and demonstrated His presence in her life. Her identity was no longer found in how she felt. Thank God for giving us restoration, worth, and purpose.
Do you know someone who is struggling with isolation? Pray for them and ask God if there is anything specific you can do for them.
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