Verna Holyhead writes about the 10 lepers who were cured. She says: “Shared misery enables people to cross boundaries.” She notes that one of the 10 was a Samaritan…very bitter enemies of Jews. So the shared misery of leprosy freed him to cross religious boundaries.
Our tour group in China was small. So we knew each other well. Two people were strong evangelicals. They repeatedly warned us: “You can only be saved if you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior”. We Catholics see it differently.
It was uncomfortable talking to them. So we didn’t spend much time together.
The last day we visited the Great Wall. It was a long uphill climb. I rested at the top. And guess what? Mike, one of the evangelicals, appeared. He was winded. So I asked him to sit with me. For half an hour we talked about aging and what lies ahead for us. Good conversation. No preaching. Our shared misery was…two pooped old men!
Remember: To cross the boundary from heaven to earth, Jesus shared our misery of sin and sorrow.