“There was a man covered with leprosy.” – Luke 5:12

“I have skin in this game.”  Maybe your version of leprosy was your own damn doing? Hell, many say, is when you are involved in your own demise. Hell is blaming the victim and doing so because the victim has some blame, some skin in the game. Blaming the victim is often but not always wrong.

We may pop off at the wrong person at the wrong time and have very good excuses for our own “spontaneity.”  We may neglect our physical or mental health for so long that the road back to wellness is closed for delayed maintenance.

Artist Judith Scott’s work, titled “Bound and Unbound,” helps me with my version of leprosy. Her work consists of fiber and found filaments. It circles around itself, creating beautiful new layers, opposite of the way leprosy adds a new difficult layer to skin. The New Yorker review says:

“The best sculptures are Trojan horses, staging sneak attacks on the status quo. Scott’s sculptures start with concealed things: each of her cocoon-like constructions began with an object, like an umbrella, skateboard, tree branch or jewelry around which she winds layers and layers of yarn, twine and stripes of textiles until the item’s identity is obscured. She makes sculptures with secrets . . . her objects let mystery becomes its own meaning. . . .”  

Even when we know we are part of our own trouble, we can connect things that are unconnected or concealed. We can make meaning of the secret or wrong within us. We don’t just cover over our sores but bind them to us in a way that makes mystery out of their meaning.


Trojan us, O God, so that we relent from picking at our sores and become beautiful, as we are, as we were, as we will be. 

ddauthordonnaschaper.jpgAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her latest book is Approaching the End of Life: A Practical and Spiritual Guide.