If I had more time to write, I would unpack the mental image of Jesus picking his way through the house in the dark before dawn. Avoiding Simon and Andrew, Simon’s wife and mother-in-law, any children that may have been there, any of the disciples sleeping over instead of going to their own homes for the night. Staying clear of the people who had arrived during the night on the rumor of a healer staying in Capernaum. An itinerant man in his early thirties, the morning after a day of attention, finding a solitary place outside of town to pray.
As the sun came up, was he where he could see Lake Gennesaret? Were the wild animals back to visit with him?
At some point that morning, his solitude was interrupted with a prayer. Actually, it was Simon and his companions (not “the disciples” mind you, but Simon’s buddies) calling to him. But if talking to Jesus is prayer, then Simon talking to Jesus was prayer. And the first prayer in the gospel of Mark from a human (not from heaven or a demon) is this: “Everyone is looking for you!”
As people around Simon’s house had awakened that day, they started to look for the healer. People who had arrived carrying sick family members wanted the help that others had received. Simon, who we eventually realize likes sharing status, has lost track of his powerful guest.
Though we don’t have tone of voice in the words we read, this prayer sounds familiar. It could be, “You have a chance to be famous and we’ll be there with you” or “do you know what will happen to my reputation if you don’t heal more people” or “come and bless our group.”
It’s not a prayer that will go Simon’s way.