Mark 5:16

Then those who had seen it related to them all that had happened to the possessed man, as well as about the pigs;


little by little
we reconstruct a crime scene
investigative tools are accumulated
models are tested and refined
success on TV only takes an hour

bit by bit
we take in on-going mysteries of life
a meditation here revelation there
individual blessing v. communal goods
approach resolution with Zeno slowness

piece by piece
values and accommodations show
revealed through consensus
as loud majorities learn larger truths
and we move by steps and jumps


An eye-witness account brings to mind a trial. We can almost hear multiple stories vying for attention and those with lawyerly minds trying to shape questions that will clarify the scene for those who were not there.

This reflects some of the double grammatical reference to a single event that is found in the Greek.

As in any scene where there are multiple reports being told, there is a matter of both the physical location of the witness as well as their state of mind or additional investments (job security and the like). Some witnesses focus on the man, influenced by the return of one of their own or someone they know who needs a similar healing. Others will be concerned about the pigs—what this does to their economic affairs or any consequence coming from the Romans who now won’t be feasting on tasty cracklings or bacon.

Confusion is the order of this verse. The result of confusion is generally a making of things worse as the scaredest voice becomes the loudest. Those with the clearest agenda will find a way to use the confusion to their advantage. Note that it is easier to set lines of division than to invite inclusion past current boundaries.

Whether attention is given to the healing of a person or the stampede of the pigs, a power has been recognizably released and everyone knows that this is a call to re-organize the culture or to double down on the present troubles. Even though there is no staying the same, stasis is still our default perspective and everyone knows trouble has already been stirred. It is just a matter of time before this power will request changes in each person present. Pretty scary.

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