Mark 8:24

The man looked up, and said, “I see the people, for, as they walk about, they look to me like trees.”


how many loaves
am I holding up
how many leftovers
are held within

levels of perception
never slacken
whether we talk bread
or blindness

our claims of sight
are based on fragments
and such confession
clears our speculator

having seen everyday deadwood
full of sound and fury
masquerading as @real…
we can look again


Try this literal translation: “And looking up he said: I see these humans, because like trees I behold walking.”

There are a couple of points to be made about looking up. It is something Jesus does. It is a connecting point for him with a larger presence of blessedness and blessing (6:41).

Looking up occurs here at a transition place from blindness to sight (of ourselves as well as of the Blind Man of Bethsaida—can you guess which part he sang in the Blind Boys of Bethsaida?)

The women at the tomb also looked up to find the stone rolled away.

Once upon a time, when asked how we were, it was possible to say, “Things are looking up.” I’m looking forward to another time when that phrase might again come easily to mind.

David Galston in the recent book, God’s Human Future: The Struggle to Define Theology Today, makes a distinction between a closed religion looking down a foreordained way to an apocalyptic end and an open religion attending to choice and change operating hopefully to draw us forward beyond fate to new streams of living water. Galston’s one liner is, “…open religion is more about comparing different things and cultivating wisdom, rather than reducing different things to one choice and cultivating doctrine.”

To look up, to be open, is a statement of trust in a present moment.

Psalm 121 begins, “I will lift up mine eyes unto hills”. The King James Version then states, “from whence my help shall come.” Today most translations affirm a trust by returning to the questioning openness of the Jewish original, “from where will my help come?”

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