And all I had to do to make this video about thanking God is to ask Jake next door to pause his house reno skilsaw, to hope that the silviculture team below the bench might take a break from dropping stones through the sorter, to pray that the guinea hen in Bill and Jennifer's chicken farm below would hold off on her squeaky-wheel proclamations for the time that I was on camera! All are sounds of meaningful work and living - and I have to say that I appreciate what a blessing these things are in a deeper way than I used to.
Because I have now met people with leprosy, it's harder to say "lepers". I said "people with leprosy" here. I was also struck with the distance between the sick and Jesus in this story and how one comes back - without even having been proved well by the priests - to get close to Jesus. So, I chose to see Jesus reach down and touch the one at his feet. Under this story whose point seems to be about the 10% that ever thinks to say their thanks is, I think, another story of the radical closeness and fearlessness of Jesus as the frontline worker.
I spent a lot of time telling the story of Blind Bartimaeus on our biblical storytelling tour in India and loved how Jesus says: "Your faith has made you well" even before he has cured him of his blindness. In this story, he says it to a man whose skin has already been cured. Clearly, faith and wellness are of a different order than "cure". Perhaps this is my new favourite line in scripture: Your faith has made you well.
On this Thanksgiving, I want to share with you my gratitude for Isaac - my video tech for all of this work. I am so happy to be working with my son on this collaborative project. Despite the (predictable) distrustful look of a teenager at a parent with a camera, he is a great team member. And I am beyond grateful for David and his support in whatever way is needed: cameraman, teller, meteorologist - as well as Family Chef and Shedmaker.
May this week be one of Thanksgiving for you!