Thoughts on Mark 7:31-17
Back from your vacation, they bring you a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. They beg you to lay your hand upon him. You take the man to a private place, away from the crowd. With great intention you turn him to face you and gently, purposefully, stick your fingers in his ears, his literal ears. You then spit on your finger and touch his tongue and pray. “Be opened.” And voila, his ears became more that something to hold his glasses up, they became the means by which he could take in the sounds of the world. And the bonds that imprisoned his speech were removed, he could talk rightly, his words were easily understood. Returning him to the crowd you spoke directly to them, charging them to keep quiet about what they had witnessed, but they ignored your warning. In their excitement they told everyone about what you had done. “He has done all things beautifully, finely, excellently, well.”
How considerate you are, Jesus, taking this man to a quiet place away from the yammering crowd so that when his ears were opened he would not be overwhelmed by their noise and cries. The first sound he would hear would be your voice, brimming with kindness. In opening his ears, you gave him the means to more easily engage with the world around him. Your spit mingled with his and with a loosed tongue, he could finally communicate the status of his heart. He could speak rightly, plainly and be easily understood. I wonder what the two of you spoke of in these first moments of his restoration? What words poured from your heart into his? What words would he now speak, confident of being understood?
Jesus, take me to a quiet place, away from the clamor of expectations and demands. Look me in the eye and open my ears to hear your voice of love. Open my mouth to speak rightly about me, about you, about the hope and healing you provide. This is my heart’s prayer, for me and for those I love, to be touched by you so your love and intention can be received and believed; and to be united with you, so my words are congruent with truth and easily understood. From this quiet place return me to the world that needs to see the product of your healing touch. Thank you and amen.