Suddenly a gasp escapes the lips of one in the group as ten shadowy figures approach the travelers.
They are untouchables. They are the lowest of the low. They are lepers.
I can feel the tension, the awkwardness of the moment.
"What audacity!" one disciple whispers to the other.
"The nerve of them! Don't they realize that this is prohibited by law?"
And Someone recognizes it.
Ten men cry for mercy from One who men say is the Mercy-Giver.
Jesus commands them to go. And they go.
Following the running men at a relaxed pace, the group of disciples and their Master continue on.
The gates of the village are not far now. Warmth and nourishment are imminent.
Yet silence is abruptly interrupted again as a man rushes excitedly toward them.
It's one of the lepers with tears flowing freely down glistening cheeks. He has something to say.
"Thank you, Jesus…
…thank you, thank you, thank you."
In his delirious euphoria he can say nothing more. But that doesn't matter.
This Samaritan has grasped what Christ has been vainly trying to teach the Jews for months.
Gratitude is a lifestyle.
One man was thankful and soon his testimony converted hundreds.
Because his thanksgiving was not a one time event, but a way of life.
And I wonder what kind of thanksgiving I have…
Am I living a life of gratitude?