When Jesus was changed

         Please, I beg you, cast the demon out of my daughter.
                  It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.
         Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.
                  For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.
                           —Mark 7.26-29

Jesus lives in an exceptionalist culture,
believing “we” are better than others.
Blind to that betrayal of our oneness,
deaf to its lack of compassion,
he calls the woman a dog—a racial slur.

The wise woman counters.
She takes the insult, owns it, and re-imagines it.
Defends her dignity, her daughter.
Comes back at him as a peer, a rabbi arguing texts.
Invites him into a new awareness, a new place.

He is bested and he knows it.
He has been changed, and he appreciates it.
She has opened his eyes.
He suddenly sees her not as a “type,” a Gentile,
but as a person.

He goes on from there
to heal a deaf man, crying, “Be opened.”
You wonder who he’s talking to.


God, give me courage to me see my bias,
and confront my racism.
Give me grace to see others a persons, not objects.
Give me faith to grow,
trusting wisdom is not superior knowledge
but radical openness,
in the spirit of Jesus, who changed.

―September 4, 2018



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