Sharing the love of Jesus and God's everlasting love and compassion.
Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time."
A Little Sore:
Shirena woke up one morning and found a white spot on her finger.
She ran to her mother and said, "Look, Mother, I have a sore on my hand."
Her mother inspected her hand, and what she saw gave her a
nameless dread. She hugged her eleven year-old daughter and tried to
keep a tremor out of her voice. "It's only a little sore. I'm
sure it will go away." She comforted her daughter and said, "Come
and help me with the washing." They chatted away as they worked and
the sore was soon forgotten.
But, that night her mother whispered to Shirena's father, "I think she has
the Curse!" He whispered back, "Shush! Someone might hear you!"
But, from then on, every day they anxiously inspected their daughter
without her knowing . The white sore quickly spread to her other hand
and then up one arm. It got so bad that they decided to call in the
village medicine man. He followed the anxious parents into the house
and took one look at Shirena and then rushed off shouting "The Curse!
It's the Curse!"
Bring Her Out!
A short while later they heard shouting and screaming outside. They ran
out of the hut only to be surrounded by an angry and noisy crowd. The
medicine man was shouting to the headman and pointing at their house!
The headman came to the door and Shirena's parents bowed and invited him to
enter. But, he refused to do so and cried, "Bring the girl out!"
Some men dragged Shirena out and a fearful cry came from the crowd, "It's the
Curse! The Curse! Stone her!" People started to pick up
stones, but the headman held up his hand for quiet. The crowd grew
silent and looked expectantly at him. The headman looked stern, "The
girl has leprosy and must be sent to Leper Island this instant!"
Poor Shirena! She looked at her parents and lifted an arm in appeal,
but it was too late. Her parents clutched each other as tears
streamed down their cheeks. They watched in horror as men dragged
Shirena down to the harbour and bundled her into a ship. Shirena's
mother shouted for them to stop, but they ignored her.
She called out to Shirena, "Remember darling girl, that Jesus said that He
loves you with an everlasting love." She then turned away and hid
her face in her husband's shoulder and whispered, "May God bless and keep
you." Shirena's father watched with bitter eyes as the ship's
captain cast off the mooring ropes and the crew raised the sail. He
watched until the ship was a speck on the horizon, and then with a
defeated look on his face, he turned homewards and led his wifeback to
No Hope Island:
The ship sailed on and after many days came to an island. As the ship
glided to a stop, the crew made Shirena climb over the side and jump into
the waves. They threw her few belongings after her and immediately
sailed away. She gasped as a wave swept over her head - she couldn't
swim! She floundered and just as she was about to disappear under
the water, a hand grabbed her hair. Minutes later she stood on the
sand gasping for breath.
She threw herself down on the sand and wept, because she knew that she would
never see her parents again. Some time later, she struggled to sit
up and looked around her. She was surrounded by wretched looking
people! Shirena shivered as a bent old man came up to her, but he
spoke kindly to her and said that he would care for her. She stood
up and the people tried to smile at her. But, all she could see
were hands, legs, and parts of faces that had been eaten away by the
It took Shirena a long time to get used to living in a cave with so many sick
people. At first she was disgusted, but the old man who had become her
friend explained that she also had leprosy and in time would look the same.
That night she cried herself to sleep and wept for many nights after
But, gradually a change came. She remembered how her mother had called
after her that Jesus loved her with an everlasting love! Shirena began
to pray each morning. After some time she felt a peace come into her
heart. She felt compassion for the very sick and no longer turned away
in disgust at their broken bodies. "I can do something to help!" she
cried and from then on she was happy and laughed and sang each day.
She comforted many and ignored the spreading leprosy which now covered much
of her body.
Sharing the Love of Jesus:
She told all who would listen about the love of Jesus and bound up their sores
as best as she could with some rags she found. The island became a
happier place. People started to talk and joke with each other as they
went about their daily tasks. Now there were smiles and some happy
faces. Many thanked the little girl, but she was sad as some slipped
away and quietly died. She helped to bury them and cried as her friends
One day, the old man collapsed and as he lay on his bed, Shirena could see that
he was very sick. She looked after him and daily sponged his forehead
with water and fed him. But, he could eat little and lay there gasping
for breath. He grew weaker and the day came when he beckoned her to
Beautiful in His Eyes:
Just before he died, he whispered, "You are beautiful in His eyes!"
Tears streamed down her face as she realised what he had said. She
closed his eyes and said goodbye sadly to her friend.
The time came when Shirena herself grew weak, and others had to care for her.
One day her helper called out and many lepers came running and crowded
around her. They held their breath as her ravaged face grew beautiful.
"I see Him," she called and tried to sit up, "He is holding out His
hands to me ... Oh, I'm coming, Lord!"
Safe in Jesus' Arms:
And she closed her eyes and breathed her last. They carried her to
the burial ground and as they laid her to rest, someone started to sing, "He
has made everything beautiful in His time," and the song grew joyful as they
all joined in. Shirena was at peace with her Saviour and had left her
wasted body behind and now was in Heaven with a new body. One that was
whole, and free from leprosy. She was wearing a white linen gown and
was lying in the arms of her beloved Jesus.
Those that remained behind thought often about her encouragement, love and
faith. They remembered her laughter and excitement when she told
them of the love of Jesus and God's everlasting love and compassion.
Shirena was gone, but her love and laughter lingered on!