[Written for the Sentinel]


Would God my lord were with the prophet in
Samaria; he would recover him
Of his foul leprosy. Thus sweetly spake
A little maid of Israel, captive
Of mighty Naaman, valiant captain of
The host of Syria's king. Far from her home
And kindred; yet no hatred rankled, and
No fierce desire for vengeance burned within
Her breast. There was no thought of self, but only
Her love for God and man; a love so pure
It pierced the trappings, glitter, pomp, and all
Vainglory, and beheld a friend in need.
This prayer she uttered then: Would God my lord
Were with the prophet. Straightway, then, with horses,
With chariots, the leper journeyed on
To Israel. He took much silver and
Much gold, fine raiment, too. Full proudly then
He stood before the prophet's house, and thus
He thought alone: Am I not mighty Naaman,
The favorite of the king, and man of valor,
Before whom all men tremble? Surely, then,
This man will do obeisance unto me
And be well pleased to do what I require;
I will reward him well. The prophet sent
A message unto him, proclaiming, Go
And bathe thyself in Jordan seven times,
When, lo, thou shalt be clean. But Naaman, full
Of wrath, spake haughtily: What, bathe in Jordan?
Have we not better rivers in our land
Where I may bathe? Fierce indignation filled
Him, and he gave the order for the march
Homeward. His servants tremblingly began
To plead: O Master, had the prophet said
That thou shouldst do some great and glorious deed,
Wouldst thou not willingly have then obeyed?
Wherefore canst thou not do the simple thing
That he requireth? Then these words brought light.
He looked deep down within his heart. There he
Beheld self-will and arrogance, tyranny
And pride of power and pomp, and many things
Unworthy of a place within the heart
Of man. A strange, new sense of meekness and
Humility came over him, and he
Obeyed. Now stepping quickly to the river's
Low edge, he dipped full seven times. When, lo!
His leprosy was gone—and he was clean!

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February 2, 1929

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