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Draft Essay
Being all members of the human race surely we have all sympathized for the less fortunate; whether it was for what they had or what they didn’t. There is a condition that most have never considered, and probably have never heard of. Imagine big white and red spots that decorate every part of your body so that they can’t be hidden. On the inside you have a painful sinus infection and after a while a loss of peripheral nerve sensation so bad that your hands and feet go numb. You could go blind or you could loose your nose, ears, or even legs to amputation. Unfortunately the physical ailments are the best part. Throughout history leprosy sufferers have been cast off from society with as much concern that dead bodies are sent to graves.
If you were in ancient Israel, your fellow citizens would have you shave your whole body, eyebrows included, and live outside the city in tattered clothing uttering "unclean, unclean" (Lev. 13, 14). To make it worse the same book that was worshiped and read aloud on Sundays was telling you that it was punishment from God, and if you were never relieved of this devastating isolation, then you deserved it.
If you had leprosy in the Middle Ages it was seen as "death before death." A priest would examine you, a suspected leper, and if confirmed he would perform a special "Leper Mass." After dust was symbolically scattered over your head you were lead to your own empty grave to witness its filling. From then on you must renounce all property and inheritance. You could never again enter a church, marketplace, tavern, house, or public meeting place. You could not walk down narrow streets or speak to children, or speak to anyone downwind. You would be given a distinct uniform, such as a robe with an L sown into it, and a bell to rattle whenever anyone approached. You would be allowed one possession: a wooden bucket on a long pole, which you could hold out to beg for food. (Brand, Yancey) This was the life of a leper.
If you live in modern day India or Brazil, then you’d have a good chance of receiving the drugs that would cure you. In some previously endemic countries like the Republic of Congo or Mozambique leprosy is a thing of the past (Mission). There is a cure for leprosy now and it is available to virtually everyone, but the path to it’s elimination is still long and treacherous.

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