Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed to the ground before him,
there seems to be ever so much prologue
before we finally get to the action
time is bided and authority gained
stages are set and opportunities provided
today seems like one more day of prep
we go through motions upon motions
out of all our prior urgencies
it does appear today is the day
this the hour minute moment
we were seen and saw in return afar
in less time than time can be divided into
an expected unexpected arrives
in no time at all we are in a presence
revealing ourself beyond intention
facing another revealed self
a mutual admiration society in worship
one seeing their salvation in the other
one seeing their belovedness in the other
Fear is always looking around for the next danger. Avoid if you can, placate where you can, puff-up when needed, fight when cornered. There is no order in which these responses to a threat come forth. The above sequence of escalation only suggests a variety of protective actions.
In some ways this grave-dweller recognizes a stronger power and doesn’t start with confrontation and accusation as the demoniac in the synagogue (1:21-28). Here is an example of bargaining to get the best deal possible—to stay in the region.
Having dealt with strength against strength, and besting all adversaries, a developed sense of place easily becomes personal and protected. And so a person whose strength is in the severity of their wounds comes running to guard their space, to argue their case.
We begin with the physical running toward, coming to a screeching halt, a dropping to a knee. While προσκυνέω (proskyneō) can indicate an extended genuflection of worship, here it is more likely restricted to issues of strength/rank and to be a sign of humble obeisance in the presence of a person of power you cannot control except, perhaps, by flattery. It may even go further than a kneeling and extend into a flat-out prostration.
We have both cosmic and colonial powers in this scene. A new vision of horizontal partnership only begun and a basic measuring rod of colonial rule (economic/militaristic/religious)—turning people into commodities and an ever-growing expendable class.