The next time you struggle with the discipline of reading God’s Word, or wonder if it is worth getting up early or staying up late to read, or wrestling through difficult words or concepts, meditate on this verse and read the following story.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Ps.119:103)
During a Wednesday night service at the Catholic church, I noticed a new leprosy patient. He sat in a pew to the right of Stan and Sarah. I’d never seen him before, but that wasn’t unusual. Patients from around the world came to Carville for special surgeries and treatments. The man could have been Asian or Indian, or maybe from South America. I couldn’t tell for sure, but he was performing a ritual I’d never seen. He put his Bible to his chin and pressed it against his mouth, like he was licking the pages…
When the man’s face wasn’t pressed against his Bible, he stared up and rocked back and forth. Then he would put his tongue back against the pages.
During Comunion, standing at the altar, I got a closer look. He was blind. Like most of the victims of leprosy, the man’s hands were anesthetized, so Braille was of no use. His fingertips could not feel the small bumps on the page. But he had found a new way. He was reading Braille with his tongue.
[From the book In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, by Neil White (William Morrow/Harper Collins, 2009). The author spent about a year in the federal minimum security facility at Carville, Louisiana – a facility which also served as a home for a colony of lepers, some of whom had been sequestered there for fifty years or more.