Sobs racked the body of the young woman. Her cries were the audible expression of the gaping wounds covering the majority of her body. Her torn clothing was not only ragged and dirty, but stained with blood as well. The tears falling freeing from her eyes seemed never ending. Unaware of anything going on around her, the small meadow where she lay because a temporary haven in her suffering. She didn’t notice the huge Lion enter until He approached and started gently washed her feet with His large, rough tongue. Instead of recoiling in fear, the girl was surprised and started. She noticed that as soon as the Lion’s tongue touched her wound, the bleeding stopped immediately. The tongue was as rough as sandpaper, but tender as well. “Oh great Lion,” she cried, “Heal the rest of me as well!”
The Lion’s healing tongue moved slowly, working its way from the girl’s feet, to her arms and finally to her face. The girl jumped up and ran to the small brook to gaze at her reflection. She shrunk back in surprise and dismay, not expecting to her a scarred, disfigured face looking back at her. “But…” she faltered, “I thought you were healing me. Couldn’t You have taken these scars away as well? I am so very ashamed of them….” Tears were her only consilation as the Lion disappeared into the forest.
The girl went back to her village and continued to live a normal life, but was always covered in robes and headdresses so that her scars were hidden.
Many years passed and no one in the village ever knew about the scars that decorated the women’s body. Then one day as the now elderly woman worked in the fields, her headdress came off and briefly exposed her scarred face. She struggled to quickly re-cover her shamed secret before it was noticed, but it was too late. One of the other women, a woman much younger than herself, spotted it. All daylong and all the next day she persisted in finding out why the wounds were so rejected and shameful to the elderly woman. Finally the elderly woman removed the head veil and clothing that for so long had been her security. She crudely told the story of the Lion and then waited for the cruel comments and questions to come from the younger woman. As she finished, she looked at the younger woman expecting to find rejection in her eyes or to hear a comment about her scars. Instead, the younger woman’s eyes were overflowing with tears. Her voice cracked as she sobbed, “Oh, what a good Lion is He!” Still sobbing, she removed her own tunic revealing a bandage, stained with blood, wrapped around her waist. She removed this as well revealing an obviously old, very large wound that had been festering for quite a while. Looking once again into the scarred woman’s eyes, she begged, “Oh please, can you take me to Him?”
From then on, the scarred women bore her scars with dignity and as a result, people saw not a wounded body, but a healed soul. Her life became a testimony to that great Lion, the gentle Healer.