As you read this I will most likely be in a large hall with 14 other people, rehearsing for a performance of the gospel of Mark. The rehearsal is all day followed by a performance, thus I’m scheduling this post ahead of time… xD Let me explain a little bit more so you’re not confused.
The Mark Drama is a 90 minute performance by 15 actors of all the incidents of Mark’s gospel, done in theatre-in-the-round style. It’s actually genius, and I’m absolutely thrilled that my church is doing it. I’m playing the role of James, one of the four disciples of Jesus and it’s grand fun! It’s a super intense weekend with about 13 hours of rehearsals and then 2 performances all in the space of about 72 hours. It’s incredibly powerful for both the cast and the audience, and I’m so excited to see how God is going to use this to bring people to Him!
Anyhow… You may be wondering why I’m disclosing this random piece of information to you… 😀 Well, it does relate, I promise. You see, today I’m going to be sharing a poem based on an incident in Mark’s gospel – the second half of Mark 5 to be exact. It is the story of a woman who struggled with a mysterious bleeding disease for 12 years, and, well… I’ll let you read the poem for yourself. 😉
I didn’t think much of it when it started – the bleeding I mean…
I’m a woman after all
But when it didn’t stop and didn’t stop and didn’t stop….
Then I noticed it.
‘Unclean!’ silently screaming from my prolonged shame
As scarlet shadowed me until I became just a wraith of my former self
Clothed in humiliation as my body betrayed me day after day –
A malfunctioning vessel, weakened and a failure
That’s what I was.
Blood led to doctors
and more blood led to more doctors.
Days turned into months that turned into years,
And still I was haunted by that scarlet shame that clung to me no matter
How hard I prayed, how many doctors I tried…
Still I was unclean –
Weakened by the years, the disease digging deeper into my flesh every day
I withered like a flower under the noon day sun –
A thing of beauty destroyed under a power greater than I.
I didn’t think much of him when I first heard – a wandering, Nazarite carpenter….
A miracle maker?
Ha, I wish.
This Galilean teacher with hordes of people following him – how could he
Find me and take the time to touch me and to heal me?
I’d given up on miracles years ago, living hopelessly day by day, watching
As my body failed me a little more and weakened just a little more
And still – scarlet haunted me.
But somehow, underneath the weary waiting I still clung to a small hope that perhaps –
Perhaps this man might be different
From every other man that has tried to heal me.
Stupid, I know.
And so I went when I heard he was coming to town,
Creeping through alleys and behind houses, cringing every time I heard
“Unclean!” echoing in my ears as the people recoiled from me.
Somehow slipping through the masses of people, I made it close to him –
Close enough to see the dust caked on his feet and to catch a glimpse
Of those quiet eyes with a glint of something strange within their depths.
I didn’t dare call out to him, didn’t dare call attention to my shame, didn’t dare….
Only touch the edge of his robe and perhaps this rumoured power
Can heal me?
Stooping, covering my face, trembling fingers brush the hem of a worn and dusty cloth
I feel the sun hot on my back
The ground hard beneath my feet
Who touched me? – comes his voice ringing through the clamour of people
A nervous laugh and a whispered conversation and in that instant I know
I am that one.
Trembling with fear and shame – nothing new to me – I step forwards,
Do I dare to look at him? One glance into those eyes and I know he has seen
My scarlet-hued shame and the deepest corners of my secret soul.
I fall down to that familiar place – my knees digging into dust and words tumble
Like the flood spilling over the sides of my eyes
He speaks, lifting my shame from my weary shoulders
Go in peace. Your faith has made you well
And with those words he lifts me to my feet and – and
Somehow I know my shame is gone
I didn’t know what to think after that… – after that moment with that man.
All I knew was that my scarlet shame had been lifted like a broken curse
From my weary body
And I was free.
I felt myself blooming like a flower under the morning sun
And I knew that I had become
A thing of beauty restored by a power greater than I.
Aaand that’s it for today! Thanks for reading! 🙂
So, what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the poem in the comments below! Also, have you ever heard of The Mark Drama?