Mark 5:30

Jesus at once became aware of the power that had gone out from him, and, turning around in the crowd, he said,  “Who touched my clothes?”


power relinquished or taken
flows where otherwise constrained
by accreted acculturation
differing bases for judgment calls

this must be investigated
for all else derives from its mystery
in this in between state
uncertainty creates an active present

how did I come to be touched
while so firmly heading elsewhere
how did I miss a chance to touch
a firm foundation got in the way

a blessing is here revealed
belovedness is not mine alone
bidden or not we swim
and spawn in water together

in freedom from power
we engage the powerless
until the illusion of power
is revealed a subtle tempter of both


A very “euthys” power comes into view. It is helpful to read A Reordering of Power: A Socio-Political Reading of Mark’s Gospel, by Herman C. Waetjen.

In addition to social realities is simple story-telling. Even though the crowd-slowed procession has been slow going, it has been going. Now we come to a complete halt.

The intention and preparation of Jesus that has been oriented upon a nearing young girl has been hijacked. Jesus immediately stops. Turns. Demands accountability.

Seldom do we notice in the moment how we are changing the world. We get so focused on where we are headed that we lose track of where we are and those whose life is being changed simply because of our presence. Jesus has retreated enough and faced temptations enough to have reformulated this time-splitting we typically do.

Are we about to lose a young girl’s life because of this delay? Will it be because power to heal has been lost or just lost time? Is the life of a privileged man’s daughter worth more than a nameless, expendable, loser?

Power (δύναμιν, “dunamis”) in Mark can be viewed in three ways: (1) strength, ability to act, available resources 5:30, 9:1, 12:24, 13:26; (2) miracle, singular 6:5, 9:39, plural 6:2, 14; and (3) personalized moral, spiritual, presence, 13:25, 14:62. Which do you see here?

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