There were also many lepers in Israel
         in the time of the prophet Elisha,
         and none of them was cleansed
         except Naaman the Syrian.

                  —Luke 4.27

Jesus has them in the palm of his hand…
but then he awakens them rudely:
God could have favored you insiders
but God favors outsiders, gentiles, foreigners.
Ouch. There goes his Oscar.

Shouldn’t there be some preference
for us, the Israelites, the normal?
Well, Jesus never was one of you,
God the ultimate outsider,
a foreigner to our world of greed and hate.

Isn’t that the God you want,
for the sake of that hidden misfit,
undocumented refugee you’ve never
granted asylum somewhere
in the city of your soul,
the you who will never fit in?

Beware your presumption
to put somebody outside the wall
as if there is one,
and you know where it is.

Beware what you label as normal,
where you think “in” is,
the favor you expect to fall along those lines.
Assure that strange three legged person
quarantined in your house
there’s no such thing as normal.

God, your ultimate belonging,
has never heard of it,
and wherever your wall is,
stands outside.

   —January 30, 2019

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