But Jesus looked about to see who had done it.
who hadn’t I seen
who am I seeing
who is still to see
who will I never see
breaking a to-do list
sets us on edge
something will be left undone
kept at bay worry sneaks back in
without an agenda or habit
how can I see what’s going on
too many crying too many dying
love never seems large enough
who doesn’t know my limits
who doesn’t know their place
who doesn’t know about boundaries
who doesn’t see us face-to-face
The disciples have not convinced Jesus to dismiss his experience of lost power or someone’s equivalent healing gain. He stops. He looks around.
What to the disciples was an interruption on the way to the synagogue leader’s house (bringing honor on Jesus and, particularly, of course, them) was an opportunity to engage, face-to-face, with a present healing, not just a potential healing.
Myers puts it, “Jesus…seeks to know the human face of the poor.”
The interrelationship between poverty and illness has been known for a long time. The closeness of connection makes every denial of service to the poor a choice that some should suffer more illness. It is not much of a jump to note that a basic choice in every health care debate is a decision about the financial health of some (the richest individuals and corporations) in contrast to the physical health of others (the poorest and sickest). If those in the health industries, including insurance and pharmaceutical companies, are to make the most for their investors, costs must be kept the lowest. In manufacturing this means reducing labor costs and here it means reducing patient services.
It is a significant act that Jesus pauses on a journey to a privileged man’s house to see someone who is probably considered in the culture to be a liability, a no-body. This willingness to pause can be attributed to the amount of time Jesus spends in the wilderness. He knows the temptation of privilege and power. He knows the importance of small wrinkles in time and energy.
In stopping and looking, Jesus has a moment of non-verbal teaching for those who have eyes to look, with Jesus, for the “poor”.