Mark 5:37

And he allowed no one to accompany him, except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.


round up your Peter James John
your Mary another Mary Salome
it’s trust practicing time
wonder and witness is at hand

there are yet stadia to travel
before we are readied for sleep
along the way we’ll practice trust
undercutting surprise in the end

stories wrapped in stories
will prepare our eyes
for seeing more than light shows
to see what a word can reveal


Except for Peter, James, and John, the crowd is dismissed. The show is over; the girl is dead.

Well, Jairus and those from his household who brought the message about his daughter, are also in the remaining contingent.

Each reader will need to fill in this small lacuna in Mark’s fast-paced tale. What might they have talked about on the way? Or was there silence? Did they stride along or stumble their way?

As readers we are able to reflect beyond a literal jumping from scene to scene. We are not bound by author’s telling. In a sense there is no author’s tale until it is read and in every reading there is an alternative tale received. This partnership of author and reader is a part of the good news Mark is telling from the immediacy of his beginning to his abrupt ending.

As you have experienced the disappointments of life, what combination of silence and reflection assists you?

Here we might catch a glimpse of being eased into the mystery of trust. Jesus might be relating some of the woman’s story of her twelve years and asking the age of the daughter. “Twelve, you say.”

He might even go on to reflect, “Hmm, twelve years of bleeding and menopause was her healing. No more children from her. Then, as she was being healed, your twelve-year-old daughter died just as she was about to enter into her grand-child-bearing years.

“It must have taken quite a bit for you to have initially come to me to assist in her healing or it was another set-up to show me up as a charlatan. I’ve had to trust your heart was true to your daughter. I’m wondering if you still have your heart set on her more than on yourself. This is part of the mystery of your asking, the woman’s touching, a word from afar about death, and our walking in trust that all will be well again, all manner of things will be well. That’s a good line, let’s repeat it as we go. [Later] Can you feel your heart-trust changing?”

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