You can view the painting here.
When I saw it, hanging up in an art gallery in a mall, the hustle and bustle of the mall died away and for those few minutes, all I could do was look at it. No mere glance would be enough. I had to understand.
Whenever I think about the ten lepers, I think on this painting. Before, the story was so common to me I had neglected to consider it. And then, when I saw the one healed leper turning back as the other nine rushed forward, I understood.
It is not just a tale with a simple moral.
That one leper is not only being grateful. He has stopped and turned back when the crowd rushes on, when it is so easy to keep going in a self-centered celebration. He is recognizing the hand of God in his life. He is realizing the One who healed him.
In our lives, it is so easy to rush forward, from task to task. And we forget. We forget to turn our heads back and realize there is something better in life, something to stop, turn, and go back to.
And once we stop,and make that journey back to the One who healed us, our lives will never be the same.