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The Wisest Fool (15 of 16)
Naaman-The Man Who Washed and Was Clean
Clarence E. Macartney
2 Kings 5:14
Naaman, the captain of the Syrian Host, was dressing
one morning to present himself at court. Stretching
out his muscular, well-braceleted arm, his eye fell on
something there which he had never seen before. He
looked at it carefully, and as he did so the bronzed
face of the veteran of many campaigns began to pale.
But Naaman was a soldier, and, throwing his robes
about him, he went to the court and performed his
duties with the King Benhadad.
Some weeks later when he looked again the spot had
grown larger. Another week or two passed by, and there
was a spot on the other arm, and then one on his
thigh. There was no doubt about it. Naaman was a
leper! He had fallen a victim of mankind's oldest,
most dreaded, most exclusively human, and most
Unsuspected Sorrows and Burdens
Naaman was a great man, but he was a leper. He was
wealthy. He lived in a beautiful villa in the midst of
a grove of fruit trees and sweet-scented bushes on the
banks of the swiftly flowing Abana. He was famous as
the leader of the armies of Syria and as the deliverer
of his nation. The king honored him and whenever he
appeared in public the people hailed and saluted him.
And yet he was a leper! Although he occupied the
second place in the kingdom, he would have been glad
to have exchanged places with any healthy soldier in
There is always a "but" to human greatness and fame
and pleasure. Many who may be the object of envy would
be glad to part with all they have for a body free of
disease, or a mind free of the reproach of conscience,
or a life unshadowed by remorse or loneliness.
Whatever the lot of man may be, there is always the
other side, and the hidden side. In this respect
Naaman is typical of human experience. Under the
gorgeous robes of the satrap of Syria there were the
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