The poor, the old, the infirm were common to the marketplace in Jesus’ day. So were people who looked industrious – spinning, sculpting, bartering. And laborers arriving each day, looking for work. It is easy to overlook the pain another might be in, unless he/she chooses to tell us. Some shout it loudly but without clarity, for many to hear; others say nothing at all. While it is easy for us to make quick judgements, what was perhaps most unique in the presence of Jesus was that he knew, and still knows, the pain each of us is in, with or without our telling. I believe he invites this intimacy of story. On this day, however, the people invited Jesus to talk first, “Let us just touch your robe, simply that will make us well!” Their humble, though ramped-up asking of permission, must have started many an interesting conversation. Jesus responded. I wonder if the villagers not only saw Jesus, but also their neighbors differently that day.
Looking for Lentils
Husband, we are out of lentils
I traipsed early this market day,
before the sun went steep.
The market wavered before my eyes
miraging people who usually
‘take up space.’
It was not the glaring sun, no, that gave them new dimension
but the shadow of Jesus. I am certain of this.
Lentils I have forgotten.
I thought to buy goat
Oy, that dry old butcher is so gruff (though his lamb the most tender)
He was not there, his carcasses left hanging.
His young wife Abishah is sick – they say
for more than a year. Six children…
He left town at a run…is what they say.
We will feast on goat another time.
Looking for iron…the tool for your plow.
The Skeptic’s in his usual corner…
Offers plenty of opinion, he does, with his high prices.
Well-smithed, his tools! But unfeeling is he…
Today, he was joking
instead of kibitzing.
I went to market looking for news
well, gossip really
My friend sits with the potters;
gossip I got. She said
“I only sold two pots today…two pots!
Still, I’d take rampant joy over coins any day.”
Joy…perhaps she is lonely like me.
All those pot-makers… Who knew?
Jesus – how can he make things so different?
Melons and baubles dropped obsolete.
Olives an afterthought.
On display today—
patience, kindness, goodness.
That rascal Enosh carried Merari
all the way from far hill. They say
he found him, fallen in the ravine
on his way to barter grain.
Enosh usually has time for no one.
I wonder what changed…
And Rahab’s daughter, she is often out of town.
She rarely comes to market…
at least not this one.
She waited here with the rest of us
quiet, no harm in that,
after we heard Jesus was on his way.
Blind Ezer’s parents – every market
they kneel and pray
At day’s end, I saw them walking
walking minus their usual basket of chicken and fruit
Ezer was not with them.
First time I have ever seen them standing tall…
And the children. Husband, the children
You know how they play in the giant sycamore?
Nothing… they were all hanging on Jesus today
dancing at his skirts.
“Jadon, Jadon, our friend Jadon. His leg is shrivelled…shriveled like a stick.
Touch him…touch him, Jadon!!! I bet you could run real quick…”
Enough stories, husband, I’m tired now
To market I will go, another day.
Kindness and goodness all around
I will look for lentils…
unless Jesus is in town.
“And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.”
? for reflection: How are your current circumstances changing the way you view others? Yourself?
? How might inviting the Healer Jesus into the picture, change your perspective?
“Matthew 14:34 (ESV) – And when they had crossed.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 21 Apr, 2020. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/esv/mat/14/34/p1/s_943034>.
Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Art used by permission from ElizabethFiggie. http://www.elizabethfiggie.com