When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. …. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
(Luke 8:35-37 NIV)
On a recent morning I was imagining this wild story. Jesus steps off a boat and is met on the shoreline by a naked crazy man. He has a conversation with him and his demons are released, and he sits with Jesus clothed and in his right mind.
A crowd soon gathers and in the face of this miraculous restoration of his humanity instead of celebration there is fear and rejection. “Please leave”, they implore Jesus. “So he got into the boat and left.” That line grabbed my attention.
I visualized Jesus making his way down the bank of the shore, quietly accepting the rejection of good he encountered. He didn’t yell, accuse, abuse – he just turned away.
Our public discourse has been replete with crazy people talking around one another, trying neither to do good or do right. Exercise of raw power is the primary game on all sides. Jesus knew what was right and good and knew when and how to speak and do both.
Sometimes disengagement is the hardest road. Finding a creative path for the right and good can be our challenge.
A Prayer for Today
O God you come to us in Jesus both now and in his life on our planet. Your ability to quietly walk away from intransigence that valued economics over humanity is winsome and puzzling. You gave your life for restoring humanity, restoring creation but you call us often to a different and creative path…. For Jesus’ sake