Mark 10:48

Many of the people kept telling him to be quiet; but the man continued to call out all the louder, “Son of David, take pity on me.”


leaders should never
have to put up with
a discouraging word

their divine right
puts thumbs where they want
of their own accord

petitions from the gallery
need one hundred fifty seven
signatures to be heard

with every one a chief-of-staff
privilege is well protected
from practicing mercy

such rabble
can shout
until hoarse

while institutional white noise
claims its supremacy
and walks blissfully away


Scolding can work for awhile but eventually loses potency. Often this leads to harsher measures to control another.

Sometimes, when a need is great enough, neither scolding nor harsher methods will keep the groaning of the universe quiet.

John Dominic Crossan and Sarah Sexton Crossan have a new book out, Resurrecting Easter: How the West Lost and the East Kept the Original Easter Vision in which they note a difference between the Western Church emphasizing individual resurrection and justice and an Eastern emphasis upon universal resurrection and mercy.

To this point I’ve used the word “mercy” almost five times more than “justice” (78 to 17). This might be a place for readers here to check their own language pattern. Do you use justice or mercy more? If you find you are more on the justice end of things, you might try a 40–day experiment (a Lenten timeframe leading to Easter) of intentionally using “mercy” to see what it does to your interactions.

We can also remember back to 5:19 when the Geresene is sent back to his hometown to tell about the “mercy” that he experienced. Other healings brought an involuntary telling (even when instructed, as here, to stop talking). Justice may be silenced with a non-disclosure agreement, but mercy can’t and won’t shut-up.

Mann’s saying verse 45 is a crucial interpretive point in the gospels is joined by Elizabeth Struthers Malbon in Anderson41, who says, “The goal of [Jesus’] journey is for all—disciples and implied readers— to ‘see’ as Bartimaeus does and to follow ‘on the way.’”

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