Coming Full Circle

Scripture: Luke 17:11-19

It was in Iran, 1976, just before the revolution. I’d come on a trip to visit my husband who had been there several months doing seismological studies. The Shah wanted to build some nine nuclear power plants in this desert country riddled with earthquake faults. We were in Isfahan, a southern city famed for its beautifully tiled mosques and oasis gardens. The market place we visited was an ancient domed and dusty labyrinth of stalls down dark corridors, filled with a jostling crowd of people. The, air was heavy with pungent smells of spice and smoke, lamb carcasses hung next to finely woven carpets. From the shadows, a man of indeterminate age, his facial features grossly disfigured by disease, fingers no more than stumps wrapped in soiled cloths, reached out begging. Startled, I recoiled and seeing my distress, our Iranian friend acting as guide led me away, saying quietly, “That man has leprosy.”

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