Another Conversation He could have had with the Father
The dusty road in the company of his followers held some of his greatest joys during the journey. The men had a great zeal for answers, for seeking truth beyond the fish their nets brought in. He was amazed at those who had resigned of their own desires for the uncanny reality beyond their humble boats.
The darkness could be blamed for it, he knew, yet it was not only that. The despondency of the time had pushed men’s sight ever lower, now squared firmly upon the daily path their feet trod. Then, there was the occupant.
His father had chosen well. The fullness of time indeed.
He felt then his father’s presence come alongside.
“Father, you have brought your people to the brink of despair itself. Still, I see that those seeking the light are fighting on. Ah, here comes another fighter. One of the children must have informed him. They are ahead of us, yet again,” he added, feeling the human pride rising within at the thought.
The figure approaching bore the burden of disease, thus remained some distance away.
Calling out as he fell to his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
His eyes took in the ravaged body and knew the neural pain associated with the rotting flesh. Deeper still, that gaze fell on an even more desolated soul, one long bearing rejection and bitterness. Yet, the ill man’s spirit had looked up and beyond in hope. He had heard the good news. The strange greeting though.
“Father. How can these poor ones doubt that I am willing to heal?”
The man waited as the little band approached him.
“Yes, the free will they possess must present them with their own options, which they choose to place upon me. Will this one bring evidence of my good works to our enemies? Will he look to his own desires?”
“The darkness will thwart it? Yet again?” His head dropped. “The written testimony will bear witness that I tried,” he whispered, knowing the truth from his father.
He lifted his head.
“I am willing,” he told the man at last. Despite it all, the compassion of his heart burst forth in a healing wave, targeting the kneeling man. “Be whole.”
Then, upon his knees, the formerly disfigured villager knew he was healed and gaped at his hands.
“See to it that you do not tell this to anyone,” he warned, his face solemn. “Go, go to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
As the cleansed leper jumped up and sped towards the town, a screech was heard from the darkness in its midst. Gifted with health, the healed man would not hold his voice back from the news. Some in town would react with fear or be spurred to jealousy, others subdued with a diversion of disbelief; the others, the priests who needed that testimony, would hear nothing of it, as the proud convinced the healed man of his uselessness.
Then, to his followers, he turned, resigned, and spoke, “So…we will not be preaching in this town after all. Let us continue on to the lonely places beyond. The truth-seekers will be forced to search for us instead.”
As the men walked on, dumbfounded at the change, they asked each other.
“How can this healing cause such a difference?” None could understand. “Wouldn’t it open the people there to the teacher’s good news?”
The long walk continued. The longer talk with his father. The children which the son carried within, from ages yet to be, were protected by his hand.
But, they were not protected from themselves.
“The blessed ones do not do as we ask of them. So often it occurs. Can they not comprehend the importance for us both?” he asked his father, observing how close the temptation of bitterness had drawn to his disappointment. Its shadowy appearance was not unexpected, of course; his flesh knew that bearing such thoughts could allow it a place within. His spirit had seen its consequences written in the flesh of others. He saw its source.
“How good that more opportunity will come. The healed one too will have other chances to serve, if he wills,” he told his father when glimpsing into the tomorrows to come and seeing his children within those days.
“I see that failure is not as my flesh understands it,” he told his father.
He turned around, then towards the west, as people drew near from each direction he looked.
The searchers, in their driving need, had found him.
story based on the gospel of Mark, chapter one.
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