Mark 13:16

nor must one who is on their farm turn back to get their cloak.

when clouds mushroom
there is no time
to take shelter
and even if you did
the ravenous nothing
following on
would swallow you whole

there is no time
to put your pants on
one leg at a time
they’ll only be soiled anyway
we only have one another
not even one fig leaf
between here and eternity

The second specific response is for those in rural areas. Here, also, there is no time to gather extra provisions. In fact, those that have been brought out to the field are to be left behind.

Those from the city or the field are both going to be caught up in a need for immediacy—one of Mark’s oft used words. The sense of urgency is put on high alert.

To run to the hills is to come to a place of retreat deep inside wilderness. There is chaos in everyday life; there is chaos in wilderness. The place of healing/safety lies beyond these. Refuge and retreat are places where perspective can shift—like unto a heart change for baptism.

From this place of assurance and belovedness, we are then able to make our way back into the chaos of a natural wilderness and into the chaos of the unnatural wilderness of bullying (power over) others, whether religious, political, or military.

Whether from city work that takes place with a cloak on or field work that has removed the cloak, with one cloak or none, we are called from chaos all about to a stillness within where through clouds that strip our knowing from us we visit a dark night from whence will come a next beginning of Good News.

The disciples might be considered to have one cloak with which to be sent forth. Those in the crowd and additional followers can be seen as working toward having a cloak, but currently without one. Whether one is in the inner-circle, an outer-circle, or is a Reader outside the circle, just looking in, there is a wondering about why things can’t just be made better by having us be in charge.

Without an experience of being out-of-control and having a deeper-than-wilderness experience of meaning beyond tradition our power would soon degrade into power over others. We would claim an authority beyond our ability to be responsible.

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