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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

Four square millimetres

Today a swollen tonsil forced me in for a covid test, and into the mandatory isolation that follows the ‘torture by taper’ until the verdict is determined. Actually the test was quite straightforward and anything but torture, and I was glad for the gentleness of the nasal-nurse who took the swab. And I have dutifully complied with the order to keep my mask on, drive straight home, keep my distance from everyone, and not to go out until a text is received to say that I have tonsillitis not coronavirus.

I was tempted in my lonely confinement to feel sorry for myself, until I remembered the lepers who lived in those days when Jesus walked the earth. Talk about social distancing. Talk about harsh confinement. Talk about real suffering. Not quarantine at home, surrounded by a loving family, but exclusion from everything good, to sleep rough through hot summers and freezing winters, in rags, resentment, and wretchedness.

How wonderful then to think that some of them met the Healer, who not only cured their leprosy, but reconnected them socially to their friends and family. What a blessed transition! To sit once again around the family table. To feel again the joy of a friendly embrace. To resume the dignity of gainful employment. To not have to cry out to all and sundry, “Unclean! Unclean!”, but “Grace! Grace!” That’s what Jesus does. Not just converts the heart, but converts the metres in the four square rule to a fraction.

DM 30th September 2020

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