Mark 5:18

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the possessed man begged him to let him stay with him.


I know this happened within me
but have no clue about the how
I once was simply against
and now desire to be with again
this land lover is willing
to sail a stormy sea
to learn to open a larger way
through any angry wilderness
to a green pasture

with bended knee I implore
with raised fist I demand
a privilege and right
to come and learn
I have hitched my star
to your moveable feast
that together we might feed
the insatiable hungers
misleading satisfaction’s lair

here among familiar desires
I don’t stand a chance
the smashing of piggy banks
excuse owners blacklisting my labor
there is nothing left
but voluntary deportation
and so my appeal
to your revealed goodness
add me to your crew


Here it is helpful to bring to mind the scene in Saigon, Vietnam as the last American helicopter is evacuating those who are being forced away. This is emotional effect of, “pleaded with to leave”.

Focus in on those pleading to be on that last opportunity to escape. When the protagonist protector is gone, there will be no quarter given to those who aided destruction of the culture or economy, and a realpolitik of who is in charge would put them at risk.

The one once left roaming the cemeteries and is the source of bloated pigs floating on the sea sets a question to Jesus similar to those of his disciples in the face of hungry crowds, “Who will feed me?”

How will this Gentile continue to deepen his journey begun with his healing if he is not able to join the Jewish band of brothers?

Whether looking at this through the eyes of our usual understanding of retribution and the danger the former wild-man is in if left behind or the loss of a deepening of discipleship unasked by those previously healed—this person’s future is awaiting a sorting out. The Christian Community Bible has a note that Jesus “values one man more than many pigs”. This is a wonderful creedal statement that feels different this far removed from the drama of a moment.

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