and he became clean;
immediacies of life
marking quanta leaps
with memory of left behinds
and assurance already arrived
are mostly rare
too many shifts
leave us schizoid
too few narcissistic
it takes time
to figure out what now
even demanded changes
for who can see consequences
in habit and opportunity
Presumably everyday folks not carrying the responsibilities of the Scribes and Pharisees didn’t need a formal declaration of cleanliness before they could welcome a leper home. If your eyes see that what once was there is gone, it may be enough.
At any rate, a bit of care needs taking around whatever healing took place and its resultant change in social status. Merging two steps into one is another of Mark’s informal ways of hurrying the story on.
With the gift of parallelism we can connect a touch with a removal of disease and a spoken word with a change in cleanliness status.
It is always interesting to consider where the disease went when it left. Given the issue of transmission of whatever the difficulty was, a touch is still echoing from the previous verse. Did the leprosy come to live with Jesus? Was there a huge spark at the touch that annihilated the disease? With no binding, did it move on to another?
At stake here is a willingness to touch.
It is just as interesting to hear a pronouncement of cleanliness. This is the work of allies in any social justice movement. If no one says another is not of sacred worth the prejudice and discrimination continues apace, deepening.
At stake here is a willingness to pronounce.
As wonderful as this verse is, it is also a transition. It plays both a conclusion to a healing/cleansing encounter and prelude to a next controversy.
Our tendency is to see matters as resolved long before they are. If this is all, we can move on. Easy-peasy. Of course, it is not over