Mark 9:19

“Faithless generation!” exclaimed Jesus. “How long must I be with you? How long must I have patience with you? Bring the boy to me.”

faith is a learnable skill
opportunity after opportunity
comes teaching and testing
what we truly trust as true
no matter what the situation suggests

faith is not currency
we play like a get-out-of-jail card
it grows from the past
pulled by a better tomorrow
out of a stuck presence

faith carries no warranty
if not completely satisfied
there is no appeal available
we can only invest the rest
until we give up trust and live

faith ebbs and flows
its presence clear then not so much
fickleness is built-in to faith
betrayal of trust too common
still we enter a next opportunity

It is helpful to put some additional language around the “answer” Jesus gives in order to have a fuller picture of his response. Is this also a sigh? An angry retort?

Additionally, does there need to be a larger break after the two frustration-based questions and the direction to bring the child to him. The word translated here as “bring” is the same as used elsewhere—the father had brought the child to the disciples or John’s head was brought, or seeds brought forth more? Is this a natural bringing forth or an ordered one?

In setting this response it needs noting that the “faithless generation” is not specifically oriented toward the disciples or crowd or parent. We are again noting both a human condition of not being aware and the reality of occupation that silences anything but compliance with a ramping up of violence.

External threats can open oneself to such a self-censorship or internal conflict that they freeze one in place. When all our excuses for not speaking up are finally recognized as faithless to our truth, we convulse or die.

How long will Jesus need to reveal a deeper reality than our typical social, political, and/or economic wilderness experience? Colloquially, “Until the cows come home!” or “Until hell freezes over!” (forgetting Dante’s frozen center of a lost paradise). Context is important to understand what it is that is believable.

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