THE FACE AT THE WALL
There was once a leper colony in the most heart breaking and most hateful sense of the term. There were men with nothing to do, and for whom nothing could be done. They were lonely, abandoned men who could only prowl around their yard.
Yet one of these men kept a gleam in his eye. He could smile, and if you offered him something, could still say, "Thank you". There was this one single man who was still a man, still human.
The Sister in charge was anxious to know the reason for this miracle. What kept him clinging to life? She watched him for a few days and she saw that there used to appear above the high, forbidding wall, every day, a face. A little tip of a woman's face, no bigger than a hand, but all smiles.
The man would be there, waiting to receive this smile, the food of his strength and support and his hope. He would smile back and then the head would disappear. Then his long wait for the next day would begin afresh.
When the Sister one day took them by surprise, he simply said, "She is my wife." And after the pause, went on, "Before I came here she hid me and looked after me with anything she could get. A native doctor had given her some paste to treat my disease. Every day she would smear my face with it - all except one tiny corner .. just enough to put her lips to. But it couldn't last. They picked me up. She followed me here and when she comes to see me every day, I know that it is because of her that I can go on living."
Do you believe it is possible that a loving relationship can sustain someone who is suffering?
taken from STORIES FOR SHARING by Charles Arcodia
E. J. Dwyer, Sydney, 1991, p. 75
May the Passion of Jesus be always in our hearts/