Friday, 2 February 2018

Escaped as a Bird and Psalm 124


Hello there, 
In my last post I mentioned the book of verse, #Escaped As A Bird, from patients at the #Oshima Leprosy Hospital in Japan. I quoted a poem relating to Christmas. Reading my Bible the other day I was surprised to discover the book’s unusual title in a line of a Psalm. Since the content of the book was written by members of the Christian Poetry Club at the hospital I suppose it was not surprising.

The title, in the context of the whole Psalm, is so very revealing. It gives an insight into the whole picture of the experience of the people, who, because of an illness were forced by the State, between 1907 and 1996, to leave family and home and live in isolation on a small island: Oshima. Their choice of title and Psalm clearly shows their faith in God.
 
Psalm 124

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
let Israel now say –
if it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us.
Then over us would have gone the raging waters.
 
Blessed be the Lord,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth!
We have escaped as a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken and we have escaped!

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

In 2001 a Japanese court ruled that the policy of segregating suffers of leprosy – otherwise known as Hansen’s disease - was unconstitutional and should have been discontinued after effective multidrug therapies were made widely available by the end of the 1950s.

For more info and lots of photos of Oshima I recommend an article: Oshima, the Forbidden Island, by David Billa. He has documented his visit to the island – where he met some of the people still living there – with lots of photos as well as some powerful observations.


Wishing you love and blessings.

Teresa x
PS I hope you like the photo of the red kites which I took when watching feeding time from a hide at #Gigrin Farm in Wales. See: http://www.gigrin.co.uk