Mark 5:20

So the man went, and began to proclaim in the district of the Ten Towns all that Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.


one by one
if need be
two by two

we go forth
ever adding texture
to suspect trinity

surprise never ends
when experience blesses
with new options

with unknown depth
we dare death
with mercy’s touch

never left behind
advance toward health
mine and yours

every encounter widens
limits on forgiveness
until Paradise returns

seventy times seventy
times and places
I go forth


Amazement is one starting point for making a heart change. This state of surprise, that a personal story introduced into a social setting where little is expected to change, pushes back a curtain fate tries to draw over our lives so we glimpse where we might engage to make a difference.

If unrepentant madness is not an immovable state, we can look around for levers and fulcra to see about occupiers and other inequities where a few are sacrificed on an altar of, “Too bad for them, we have always done it this way”.

This possibility of making a change is not all sweetness and light. A part of the amazement is that this person who is responsible for the dead pigs does not try to work his way into the good graces of family and friends by blaming those Jews from across the lake or their G*D. The difficulties that eventuated from his having been treated mercifully are still real economic losses. Any difficulties with the authorities, still remain.

A focus on mercy sets our usual resentments and fears into a larger perspective. This is worth practicing.

As we leave this part of Mark’s story with Jesus’ boat leaving through bobbing pig bodies and a story of an ambassador of mercy, store this story for it sets a stage for additional healings in Chapter 7 during Jesus’ next swing through the Decapolis.

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