Amram didn't believe he'll be healed, for he was a Samaritan and the Rabbi a Jew.
|Amram walked slowly. A while ago, he was with a group of ten men, all the same: lepers. A while ago, the Rabbi said that they show themselves to the priest. A while ago, he finally had hope that he will be healed.
Suddenly it dawned on Amram that they were not really all the same; the other nine were Jews while he was a Samaritan.
And the Rabbi was a Jew.
His companions were in a hurry heading North towards Jerusalem, eager to show themselves to the priest. Amram's heart hurt as he felt envy and sorrow; he knew they were to be restored back to health while he'll remain a leper.
Amram faced West, towards Samaria. It was late afternoon and he had to squint to avoid the sun.
"Samaria," he said, longing for the place where his family lives.
He felt another ache in his heart. He never had the opportunity to touch his son, for he contracted the disease just before he was born. Now, Amram believed he will never hug and kiss him. His eyes hurt but not because of the sun. Tears trickled down his cheeks.
Amram just stood there, facing West, longing. He heaved a heavy sigh and thought of turning around and going back to the colony of lepers.
Ithiel felt vindicated as he looked at his hands. "I have been telling the others that I am not sick," speaking loudly but to no one. "They didn't listen to me. I'll show that priest the mistake he made. Why, declaring me to be unclean yet, clearly, I am not." He walked faster, angry at the injustice he felt was done to him.
Amos, a businessman, was already thinking of preparing a lotion he would claim had healed him. "I could prepare vats and vats of that concoction and sell it." He was counting the money he could make. But he had to hurry, or else any one of his companions might come up with the same idea and beat him in selling their own product.
Merari had been planning his revenge ever since he contracted the disease. He learned that his wife had been cheating on him. "She'll never know I'm coming home. I'll catch her and her lover this time." He was very pleased to think that he'll throw the first rock. He hastened, hoping to be home before news of his coming reaches his wife first.
Simon was afraid. Being a leper, he need not work to eat; food was being brought to him because of the pity of his relatives. Would they still provide for him now that he's cured? It would had been better had he stayed a leper. He was reluctant to go to the temple.
"The temple!" he exclaimed. He would be allowed to beg there because he was now clean. He could hear the coins clinking as they are dropped in his begging bowl. With his collection he could choose the food he wanted to eat, not the leftovers that people bring to him. "Freedom," he said. Simon raced to the temple, hoping to find a good spot.
Benaniah was angry. He never heard anything from his business partners since he had the disease. He was afraid that they were taking over his carpet trade and he would not have any share in the business once he returns. "How dare they do that to me. I was the one who took them in." He ran, planning to confront his partners.
Hillel was thinking of his vineyard. He knew his sons would not take care of it. "Those lazy fools," he said. "Probably, the vineyard is now full of weeds." He rushed home to see the state of his field.
Judas believed that he did not do anything to deserve the sickness. He was sure this was brought about by his father's sins, and he, the son, had to bear the punishment. He did not have a good relationship with the old man, and the leprosy made it worse. Once he gets in town he would expose the sins of his father.
Uzzi, a competitive person, wanted to be the first one to see the priest. All of his companions were now moving fast towards Jerusalem. He then bolted, trying to get there before anyone beats him to it.
Ephraim looked at the Samaritan. He had only contempt for him. "I am a Jew, and it is only right that God will cure me. Not like this Samaritan. It serves him right since he does not follow the true God." He ran so he can be far away from the Samaritan. He wanted to forget that moments ago they were very good friends.
The burning sun was already near the horizon, and so Amram raised his right hand to cover his eyes. As he did so his sleeve fell away, revealing his forearm. He couldn't believe what he saw. He raised his other sleeve then looked at his chest. He ran his hand around his face, trying to feel any wound, and felt none.
"My son," he whispered. "I'm coming home."
Amram wanted to run towards Samaria, but he felt a tug in his heart. He realized that God came down to touch him through the Jewish Rabbi; he was not excluded.
He looked to his left--the crowd was still near, the Rabbi towering over them. He looked to his right and saw, to his surprise, that his companions had already gone far. He wanted to call them back, but they had already grown very small.
"They are going the wrong way," Amram thought.
The Samaritan faced South. "Praise be the Lord," he said and called the Rabbi.
And then he ran.
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