This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
“David and Bathsheba” (2012), created using Photoshop by Jon Deviny (1982-), who lives in Bellingham, Wash.

The healing of a boy

with a spirit Mark 9:14-27 A father brings his son to the disciples for healing,

Bathsheba 2 Samuel 11

Was she the innocent victim of rape by a king? Or a

bored soldier’s wife deliberately tempting a bored king who was ordered not to go into battle? Of course, we’ll never know. But over the years there have been movies, books and much speculation about King David and the beautiful Bathsheba, his eighth and last official wife. Her beauty and charm must have really enthralled

him from a one-night stand to marriage and the promise that their second son Solomon would be king instead of his firstborn Absalom. I admire Bathsheba’s boldness to inform King David

of the results of their brief encounter, knowing at best she’d become part of his sizable harem and at worst ignored. Amazingly he married her aſter first deviously ordering her husband, Uriah the Hittite, to be put in the front line of battle to ensure his death and her official widowhood. Did she grieve for her husband? Or was she too over- whelmed by her good fortune to care much? Was she

happy? Content? God only knows. But she upset the royal genealogy and Bible history. Or was it God’s plan all along?

Patricia M. Kenning is from Littleton, Colo.

but they’re unsuccessful. Te father approaches Jesus directly and makes it plain that he is bringing his child to him specifically. Ten he gives a medical history like any parent speaking to a doctor might do on behalf of his nonverbal child. As the parent of a nonverbal son who had seizures,

every detail of this story rings true to me. I can relate to the father’s frustration with the disciples. Jesus’ response to the father seems impatient. Te

only part the father really hears is when Jesus says, “Bring [your son] to me” (Mark 9:19). I remember many doctors and therapists who said

discouraging things before they agreed to see my son. Seeing his son in the throes of yet another seizure,

the father exclaims, “If you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us” (22). Jesus’ answer that all things are possible to one who believes evokes from the father one of the great expressions of New Testament faith—“I believe; help my unbelief” (24). Many times I have prayed that as I cared for my son

or faced other challenges in my life. Ten things happen quickly. Te crowd presses in.

Jesus rebukes the spirit that had been causing the boy’s seizure. Te boy falls limp. Cynics are already writing him off as dead. Jesus takes the boy’s hand and the two of them stand together. Te evangelist doesn’t tell us what the father is doing. But I know. He is crying and prais- ing God with all his being. I read this story oſten dur-

ing the 26 years I cared for my son. It helped me under- stand how Jesus shares our struggles. In 2012, Jesus took Matthew’s hand, raising him up to be with him. Tis was the Gospel story read at his funeral.

“Christ’s Pity of the

Sick” (1970); mingei (folk art) print on kozo paper by

Sadao Watanabe (1913-1996: Japan).

Susan B. Bianchi attends Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hershey, Pa.



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