Mark 5:31

“You see the people pressing around you,” exclaimed his disciples, “and yet you say  ‘Who touched me?’”


a starry night bridge scream
paint flung screaming warhorse
Mr. Natural detailed lily
touched my eye drawing me in

warm oatmeal with cinnamon
melted aged brick on toast
any newly opened bag of dark chocolate
touched my nose tempting me in

fresh sweet corn steamed green beans
chunky garlic mashed potatoes
Italian sausage in marinara sauce
touched my tongue slowing me down

mysterious mountain hobo’s lullaby
Coreaed Mozart Smithered Dylan
abiyoyo waly waly olly olly oxen free
touched my ear soothing me center

beloved’s hug pat on the back
quilt of remembrance funeral home fan
wide-enough shoes broken-in hat
touched my skin calling me out

who touched me who didn’t
where did my power go what power
how can I continue why stop
what can this mean what what


Disciples get snarkier as they begin to catch on to the predictable foibles of their teacher.

Touch is one of the ways Jesus’ healing takes place. Here is a “palin” place for a look back to 3:10: “Jesus had healed so many people that everyone who was sick pushed forward so that they could touch him.”

This dismissal of another’s report about their experience continues down to this day. In one way or another we say to one another, “Come on, get real, you didn’t just experience what you claim you did.”

This nearly instant dismissal of another’s experience keeps us from having to keep up with identity changes. Think back on all the different ways the Woman’s Movement, the Black Experience, and various expressions of Human Sexuality have shifted over the years.

If we are going to honor the identity of people we need to listen to how they describe themselves and follow where they lead. If we demand a right to name them, we are as snarky as the disciples—today we call this “gaslighting” which dismisses any independent thinking, leading people to question their sanity.

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