Those strange strange stories

-Dan Behrens

A poem I wrote in response to our incredibly sad and often savage 24-hr news cycle. Stories and stories of sadness and pain and hurt. I know the world is full of examples of love and joy and peace and civility, but often these are pushed to the margins. Here is an image, a snapshot per se, of miracle based on accounts from the Gospel of Mark. The miracle of Christ into the world. The miracle of faith in Christ and healing that results.

Then there is that strange story

Of wandering crowds

Wearying themselves

Out into the desert

All for a traveling healer—

A worker of miracles

A riddler of strange prophecies.

Two or three days at a time

They lasted on stories of seed. Light.

What is for each of us a measure of faith.

And then there were the handfuls of bread

Broken and spread out across the side

Of that little country called Galilee

Where everyday people of earth

Gather by family

   Marry by family

    And die among their own.

All of history’s shepherds and fishers and collectors

In small villages around a small small earth

Wearying themselves of life and love and rule and God…

Till finally, “I believe” comes up out the crowd.

Or “only that I would touch the hem of your coat” arises

From the faceless sick.

This one in particular gets to me.

Nameless. Faceless. Lost in time

Except that we have this strange story

Of her healing, the gathering of faith in a word

Cracked wide open out of tiny tiny seed.

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