Troubles of a Hog Farmer
(My wonderful and talented daughter, Faith, is the author of this work based on Mark 5. I love it and I hope you do as well!)
The morning started like most. Silence blanketed the hills and mountains, stretching to reach the thin strip of shoreline that ends at the sea. The sun was just beginning to peek over the nearby cluster of mountains, and a boat was floating up to the shore far below. I plopped onto my favorite rock, ready to take a break after a long night tending to the hogs. The pigs were starting to move towards the grassy hill that overlooks the rock-strewn beach, and I prepared myself for another boring day tending the herd. Suddenly, the most horrible screeching shattered the calm. I sat bolt upright as chills ran down my spine. I jumped to my feet and immediately began preparing to leave. I had heard that hair-raising screech before. It meant that Jacob the demoniac was nearby. Jacob had been like any other Jew in the area, until one day he began acting like a lunatic. Now he lived by himself up in the place of the dead. He was a truly frightening man.
Usually, he didn’t wear any clothes, and he had eyes full of death. I had made the mistake of looking into them before, and I would never forget the haunted, tortured soul I saw trapped there. At the moment, he was careening full tilt down the mountains toward a group of fishermen on the beach, screaming at the top of his lungs. I was captivated by the sight and found myself moving closer down the path. I realized that Jacob was screaming at one of the men on the beach, crying:
“Why are you here with us, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Surely remember your oath before God, and do not torment me by forcing us to leave!”
I was confused and afraid, but then this Jesus responded, saying,
“Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”
His voice echoed through the mountains, and authority emanated from the man in waves. He commanded, “What is your name?” Jacob gnashed his teeth as he answered with many voices, “Our name is Legion, for we are many.” My mouth dropped open as Jacob, or Legion, continued, “Please, we beg you, do not send us to the abyss, for we long to torment.” By that point, the other herders had joined me on the path, and we were watching with a mix of interest, fear, and disbelief. Jacob continued, “Send us into the swine, let us enter them instead.” My eyes grew wide when I heard this. I knew I should turn and tend to the pigs, but somehow my body was frozen watching in anticipation. Jesus uttered a single word. “Go.” With a terrible screech, Jacob collapsed onto the ground. Time seemed to freeze as we watched. Suddenly, I felt a rumbling beneath my feet. I turned and saw my herd of pigs beginning to run and tumble toward the cliff.
Snorts and otherworldly screeches reached my ears as I broke from my stupor and began to run toward the hogs. I frantically tried to stop them, shouting as I did so. The other herders ran up behind me, but it was too late. I watched in numb horror as my livelihood ran off a cliff into the sea. I ran to the edge and looked down as I caught my breath.
Thousands of pigs thrashed in the water screeching in terror as they drowned. I felt my anger growing as I realized what that Jesus had done. I needed those pigs to support my family. I turned to go confront the men on the beach, but they were gone. I thought for a minute, then began running to town. When I reached the outskirts, I began yelling at the top of my lungs,
“Jacob has been healed! Jesus drove out the demons, right into my hogs!”
Soon, a crowd grew around the other herders and me, and we retold the events of that morning in animated voices, fuming at Jesus and his miracles. We did this for most of the day, then I went home to my family, and recounted the day’s events again. My wife listened with interest, stopping me every once in a while to ask a question. Once I had finished, she sat, deep in thought. Then, with hopeful eyes, she asked, “Could it be? Is this Jesus the Christ?” I sputtered ready to object. Then I remembered the authority he had over the demons and found myself wondering the very same question.
Is Jesus the Christ?
Please show Faith some love by liking or sharing her first published work.
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