True Accounts Of Visions, Angels, And Healing Miracles
I begin my prayer time some mornings with the following meditation. I go back to a sacred spot from childhood, on the bank of the creek across the road from the barn on the farm in Richland County, where I grew up. I pass an old abandoned boat which sits in the weeds along the way. The creek is different every day. Sometimes the water is low, the ripples below the deep hole barely audible as they trickle over the rocks. Other days, after a storm, the banks are full and I watch in awe as the water rushes around the bend carrying debris from burst beaver dams and farmers' fences.
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Oscar Wilde penned a powerful story about behaviors and definitions and justice called The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian was a handsome young man, a model of physical beauty and moral virtue. People complimented him on his good graces. Parents pointed to him as an example to their youth. One artist even painted an exquisite portrait of him.
"Have you seen it?" whispered the Barbie doll to her next door neighbour.
The next Barbie doll in line was instantly alert. There were five different Barbie dolls, who lived jumbled together in the toy cupboard but who were so jealous of each other that they rarely spoke. "Seen what?" asked the second Barbie doll, blue eyes darting all round the room.
"The Princess," replied the first Barbie with glee. "Caitlin's done her hair and it looks terrible!"
These verses from Mark's gospel are a call to commitment, a call to sacrifice, and a call to give up everything of earthly value in life. To say these are difficult verses is truly an understatement. It is pretty clear that the disciples are not at all ready for what Jesus is saying. They are not ready for Jesus to die and they certainly are not ready to die themselves.