When I was a boy, my family lived in the West Indies. There, I saw lepers. On Saturdays, lepers came and sat on the ground outside the city market. Wrapped in rough cloth, even their faces, they begged for alms. My mother knelt and spoke to the shrouded figures. She offered what she had, food or coins. The memory remains to this day. There are lepers hereabouts … not necessarily suffering from what we now call Hansen’s disease, but men and women, leper-like, brought low by illness, accident or misfortune … stigmatized and scorned … children of God indelibly marked as outcasts.