USATODAY published an article on dwarfism and the efforts of some little people to change perceptions and break stereotypes. After reading that, I read Leviticus for a class. There is a passage where God says that dwarfs and those with lame limbs and disfigured body parts can not offer sacrifices at the tabernacle. They were excluded from approaching God.
A lot of Leviticus makes sense. But I was angry when I read that the diseased, lame, and disfigured had to stay away. I didn't understand how a dwarf could be blamed or punished for how she was born.
I asked a professor about this, wondering if he could explain the function it might have had. A man a couple seats behind me said that reading about these excluded people reminded him of Jesus ministry to the outcasts. Jesus healed lepers, lame people, and the woman who had bled for twelve years. When Jesus healed these people, the first thing he did was send them to the temple for the sacrifices.
Jesus restored outcasts to God and to Israel. Jesus made them welcome at the temple, and they could finally approach God. They were included in God's people and in his promises.
I'm glad the laws regarding the outcasts caught my eye and troubled me because I see grace a little better. Outcasts without hope are brought close to God and included in his promises in Christ.
Included in Christ.
One Writer's Beginnings, Eudora Welty.