My hands, my face, my whole body had leprosy. Just like that.
Fear bubbled from my feet to my head causing every bone to tremble. I looked at my brother, Aaron, and then at Moses but could barely see them through tears. How can I breathe?
The Lord punished me. What did I say? Oh yes, I remember now. The words played over and over in my mind, "Did the Lord speak only through Moses? Hasn't he also spoken through us?" I complained to Aaron yesterday as we walked about all the attention Moses got. Because of my words, Aaron joined in complaining with me. I said such cruel words.
My legs crumbled to the ground. Why did I say those words? Will God ever let me worship Him again?
Between sobs I heard Aaron cry out to Moses, "Oh my lord! Please don't lay this sin on us." I wiped my eyes and saw him fall before Moses. He pressed his hands together. "My lord, we have been foolish in this sin. Please don't let her be as one dead, whose skin is half gone!"
I closed my arms around my stomach and wept as I never had before. Not because of the pain, or the leprosy, but because I had sinned against my brother, Moses, and the Lord. Only yesterday I remembered my friends who complained against the Lord when they wanted special food. And now, here I am, guilty of the same sin.
My sweet brother, Moses, lifted his eyes toward the sky. He raised his arm to heave and cried, "Please heal her, O God, I pray!"
Even though I said cruel words against him, Moses prayed to God to heal me.
Tears soaked the ground.
The Lord, the Great God in Heaven, answered, "Let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and afterward she may be return."
He forgave me? The Lord forgave me for speaking cruel words about His chosen worker? He forgave me for my jealousy?
During the seven days I camped alone, I listened to the people sing praises to God. I heard their laughter and the children play. I longed to be with them. Day by day my heart healed.
Day by day, I thanked the Lord for forgiveness, for my brothers, for my life, for my family, and for His Love.
The people waited for me. They didn't move the camp and leave me behind. God's cloud stayed over the Tabernacle until the seven days ended.
My heart has changed.
1. What did Miriam do wrong?
2. What was her punishment?
3. Who prayed for her?
4. What did Miriam learn?
5. What did you learn?