Mark 14:7

You always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you will not always have me.

no wonder
you’ll always have the poor
with you
you need them to cover
your comfort

your ease
depends on their indenturement
to provide
your want at least cost
to you

shift focus
pick any piece of clay
see it
as an image of all
h-m-m-m now

in particular
as you would do for me
this do
do now for any next other
you see

An early reference to reflect on is the interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees about eating with those seen as outside the bounds of faith—the “sinners”, the “incompatibles”—and fasting.

The poor, “sinners”, “incompatibles” you will always have with you, because they are a necessary part to any purity system build on sorting people into a simple duality of “ins” and “outs”. At any time the constraints of the constructed system can be changed and good be done, inclusion can be made for those defined as less-than.

While Jesus is around, the prevailing system based on restriction is challenged to reveal itself or change. Usually it reveals itself by ultimately requiring Jesus to suffer and die and not being ready for a rising.

When Jesus is no longer physically present, it will take intentional wandering in the wilderness, doing unpopular good, to find a perspective from which the current system can change its heart along with the people caught in supporting and perpetuating it.

As we anticipate Jesus’ absence and the attendant anxiety of such an eventuality, it becomes clear that always having a choice to remove the conditions of poverty, “sin”, and other exile producing mechanisms is what we can’t seem to get around. To acknowledge our complicity with the principalities and powers is to confess how much we like our little power perks and to what lengths we will go to keep them. This moral choice reveals our love of G*D and Neighb*r.

Mark 9:24

[Note: I just noted that this posting is marked as having missed its scheduled posting last January 2nd. Apparently, Jan 1st was too wild. Too bad there are no memories of it (though, given the prevalence of false memories in current national leadership it may be just as well). In theory its posting 8 months late will be just the right time for someone to read it. ~Wesley]

The boy’s father immediately cried out, “I have faith; help my want of faith!”

as per usual
it’s all about me

a bargained for affirmation
has questionable efficacy

where does taking faith upon ourself
fit with borrowing faith from another

a key element in a new good news
is the sharing of faith

to trust where another doesn’t
is prelude to direct action

disrupting our usual establishment
hierarchies claiming power

with no intersectional partnered trust
division after division brings nothing

In the first part of Mark, miracles of healing take place, BANG, now. We are now looking at slower healing with a process involving and almost requiring special faith and prayer.

In light of the context of healing, we might be aided by a translation into Marathi that would mean, “cast out my unbelief”, (Bratcher288).

Galston147 is evocative of appreciative unbelief:

The existence of God… requires belief because God is absent. What about people…who say they experience God? This makes the point: we experience God in the yearning for God, which is the presence of the absence of God clinging to our hearts. In such conditions I must say “I believe, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24). My act of believing is against unbelief, against the consequence of the absence of God. So, believing is willfully taking a leap over the abyss of absence without knowing where one might land. Such is religion: it exists because God does not exist; it is the willfulness of being human. It is the act of leaping across unbelief. Like Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), the great founder of Existentialism, said, belief is the condition of uncertainty. Belief is about lying “constantly out upon the deep and with seventy thousand fathoms of water” underneath. Such oceanic depth is Kierkegaard’s metaphor for bottomlessness, for emptiness. God is not about certainty, and religion is not about God’s existence. Religion is about creating God while it awaits God. Religion is the “almost” of God; that is, religion is the record of beliefs that arise while waiting for the arrival of nothing. Religion is the trace of a God, culturally conditioned, who almost is.

Today “wisdom in religion involves the act of creating value out of nothing”; consumerism and technology substitute for G*D.