Mark 6:56

So wherever he went – to villages, or towns, or farms – they would lay their sick in the market-places, begging him to let them touch only the tassel of his cloak; and all who touched were made well.


we beg for allowance
to do what we could do
simply on our own

thinking life is a trick
we look for permission
to access an open door

when external affirmation
is not forthcoming
we collapse

these internal limits
crop up again and again
to stunt our growth

after spending so much time
and energy to travel
we abort our arrival

lift up your head
o mighty gate-crasher
you are welcome


Jesus is portrayed as observing the Torah commandment from Numbers 15:37­­–41: G*D partnered with Moses says, “Tell the Israelites to make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations. When they see it, they will remember and live our rules of engagement.”

This technical term, κράσπεδον (kraspedon) noted by Bratcher218

(only here in Mark) ‘edge’, ‘border’, ‘hem’; probably here not in the general sense, but in the specific sense of ‘tassel’ worn by pious Jews on each of the four corners of the cloak.

is lost in our contemporary familiarity with the fabric neatly turned under and stitched flat.

Who knows what else we have lost in the passage of time and culture as language is added to and, at the same time, turns archaic. Reading slowly with others heals compromised understanding when everyone uses their own lens and applies their own meaning to ancient words.

Connecting touching in Jesus’ work with reading, Moore40 says:

This touching is a kind of darshan, being in the presence of the teacher and receiving healing power from it. It is significant that a story like this one shows the importance of an effort to be present, rather than an intellectual agreement with a set of teachings. Many people who love the Gospel stories have not had the full experience because they have been taught to think of them as the basis for a creed rather than a way of being…. We might think of reading the Gospel stories as a kind of darshan, where the reading itself puts us in touch with the power of the story.

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