Dear Reverend: My beloved Chihuahua Perkie has come down with a bad case of doggie leprosy! I knew I shouldn't have taken her along on my vacation to Fiji, but I couldn't bear the thought of my babycakes locked up in a seedy doggie motel with a pack of heathen mongrels for two whole weeks. Alas, the leprosy, which first appeared in Perkie's tail, has now spread to her paws, and unless the antibiotic chew treats and the hot needle treatments take hold, the horrible disease will soon reach her little doggie brain! Why did God create such a horrible disease? Reverend, please ask your readers to pray for dear Perkie's recovery.

"Praying for Perkie," Wilsonville

Dear Reverend: I recently contracted leprosy during a holiday cruise in the South Pacific. My doctor informs me that this disease is still very life-threatening, and the MDT treatments cost much more than I can afford. Is there anything Jesus can do? I hear he's good with lepers.

"Rotting," Tualatin

Brothers and sisters, these are just two of the many, many letters I receive each week from the suffering children of greater Portland. For centuries, Christians have rejoiced at the miracles Our Savior can bring when he's in the mood to do so. But, Dear "Rotting," before you beseech Jesus to intervene on behalf of your nervous system, I ask you: what have you done for HIM lately? Have you renounced sin? Have you lent a hand to those in need? Have you consigned your life to His Management? Or have you gone about your life without a thought for God and His Needs, until one fine day you looked down and whoops! Leprosy! Surprise, surprise.

"Praying," you ask why God created the horrible disease of leprosy. Maybe He's trying to tell you something. Maybe you've been doting a little too much on your beloved pet and not quite enough on JESUS! I ask you, did you soothe the sick on your little 'vacation?' Did you spread His Good Word? Or did you cavort lewdly on the beach in immodest bikinis, sipping liquor from coconuts? Jesus sees everything you do, "Praying." If you care about your immortal soul, let alone your Perkie, I recommend you SIT UP and BEG forgiveness!

Jesus is a busy savior. The bible tells us how Christ healed the sick of Jerusalem, but since Biblical times the world's population has grown a thousandfold. Jesus is more of a hands-off savior now, leaving the curing of illness to His Army of Ministers, an army of which, I am proud to call myself a general. Yes, I could heal you, but since you show no remorse for your sin, nor concern for your soul, I suggest you take two antibiotics and call me from the afterlife!