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LEPROSY  6'1m*f RT: Elisha cures Naaman's leprosy

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience.)

GEHASI -- (enters wearing tunic and sandals, one hand hidden in
folds of garment, crosses to podium) I'm sorry, but if you
people are here for a press conference with Elisha the prophet,
you may as well go home. Elisha is a very private person and
won't speak to the press.

REPORTER -- For the record, can you tell us your name?

GEHASI -- My name is Gehasi. I am Elisha's housekeeper.

REPORTER -- Can you confirm the report that the prophet Elisha
did a supernatural healing recently?

GEHASI -- I'm sure that if Elisha was here talking to you, he
would not want to take credit for someone else's work. It was
God who did the healing.

REPORTER -- So, you confirm that there was a supernatural
healing done here?

GEHASI -- Not here. Elisha was here. But the supernatural
healing was done in the Jordan river.

REPORTER -- Are you saying that God did a supernatural healing
through Elisha, but Elisha was nowhere near the healing?

GEHASI -- That's what I'm saying. And I'm sure Elisha would
confirm that.

REPORTER -- That seems a little unusual, doesn't it?

GEHASI -- Yes. I suppose it is, but this was an unusual case.

REPORTER -- Can you be more specific?

GEHASI -- Yes. In previous miracles performed by Elisha, he was
physically present. But his miracles affected the citizens of
Israel.

REPORTER -- Are you saying that the supernatural healing was
performed on a foreigner?

GEHASI -- That's right.

REPORTER -- This is a first, isn't it?

GEHASI -- Excuse me?

REPORTER -- Isn't this the first time Elisha has done a miracle
for a foreigner?

GEHASI -- Yes. And that's why Elisha was not present during the
healing.

REPORTER -- I don't understand.

GEHASI -- Well, the foreigner traveled all the way to Israel
seeking a supernatural healing. But he was not a believer in the
God of Israel. If Elisha had been present during the miracle,
the foreigner would have concluded that it was Elisha himself
who had the supernatural power. But with Elisha out of the
picture, the foreigner would have to give due credit to God.

REPORTER -- Is that what happened?

GEHASI -- Yes. The foreigner not only went home with a faith in
the God of Israel, he went home with several sacks full of
Israeli dirt in order to build an alter to the God of Israel in
his home town.

REPORTER -- Can you give us the identity of this foreigner?

GEHASI -- Yes. His name was Naaman.

REPORTER -- Naaman?! Naaman, the general of the Aramian army?!

GEHASI -- That's right.

REPORTER -- Why would the God of Israel perform a miracle for
the general of one of Israel's enemies?

GEHASI -- Well, our kings have turned their backs on the God of
Israel. They have built shrines and alters to foreign Gods.

REPORTER -- But isn't that a slap in the face of the king of
Israel?!

GEHASI -- Yes. I think that's what the Lord God of Israel
intended. And, because Elisha is a prophet, this action is
probably intended as a prediction of future events. Whenever the
people of Israel reject their God, God will turn his back on
Israel and reach out to the gentiles. I'm sure you'll see this
happening to Israel in the future, if Israel rejects the Lord
again.

REPORTER -- Do you think it's likely that the King of Israel
will seek revenge against Elisha for healing a foreign general?

GEHASI --  The king won't be happy with Elisha, but that's
nothing new. Elisha was never a favorite of the king. The king
always treated God's warnings through Elisha as if they were
personal attacks from Elisha himself.

REPORTER -- Getting back to the supernatural healing of Naaman,
can you tell us what he was healed from?

GEHASI -- Yes. He had leprosy.

REPORTER -- And he is now completely healed?

GEHASI -- Completely.

REPORTER -- What was the method of healing?

GEHASI -- Elisha told Naaman to immerse himself seven times in
the Jordan River.

REPORTER -- That's it?!

GEHASI -- That's it.

REPORTER -- What possible healing could there be in the muddy
old Jordan river?

GEHASI -- I will remind you that it was a SUPERNATURAL healing.
It was not the method that healed him. It was Naaman's obedience
and God's mercy that healed him.

REPORTER -- Did Elisha charge a fee for the healing?

GEHASI -- Yes. No.

REPORTER -- Well, which is it?

GEHASI -- That's all I have time for now. (removes leprous hand
from folds of garment, turns to exit)

REPORTER -- Gehasi. One more question?

GEHASI -- Alright. (turns) One more.

REPORTER -- Is that leprosy I see on your hand there?

GEHASI -- Yes.

REPORTER -- Why didn't the Prophet Elisha heal YOUR leprosy?

GEHASI -- Because HE's the one who GAVE me the leprosy!

REPORTER -- What do you mean by that?

GEHASI -- Alright. I'll tell you. Naaman offered Elisha a great
deal of money and clothing in payment for the healing, but since
it was God who did the healing and not Elisha, Elisha refused
the payment. But I got a little greedy. I slipped out of the
house to meet with Naaman secretly and told him that Elisha had
changed his mind about the payment. When Elisha found out that I
took payment for a miracle done by God, Elisha gave me leprosy
and cursed me with it for life!

REPORTER -- Aren't you making the same mistake as the king of
Israel?

GEHASI -- What mistake is that?

REPORTER -- Aren't you blaming Elisha for punishment that comes
from God himself?

GEHASI -- (exiting) That's all I'm going to say. This press
conference is over!

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