When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live." So he went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well." Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?" And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, 'Who touched me?'" He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader's house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?" But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
We have three amazing daughters who, now adults, make me so proud every day. And when they are hurting or ill, I want to run and them, hold them tight and protect them from every danger and challenge they might face. It is a visceral, physical ache that has no resolution without being with them. These have been rough days in our family, with one daughter having major surgery so far away. Her older sister ran to be by her side and her younger sister has kept up a constant barrage of love, prayers and positive messages. It touches my heart, this passage, for Jesus touches these women, young and old and healed them. For a mama so far away from her babies, this passage gives my heart joy and some peace.
Jesus understands the visceral ache and turmoil faced by the woman and the young child. He knew the heartache of the parents and their families. He wanted always to bring healing and resolution, to make right what was broken and torn, breathing life into what the world has given up on. We are invited today to understand God as one who stands with us, aches with us and journeys to bring healing and reconciliation to the forgotten and the despairing. We are to reach out to God when we have given up and when our hearts are breaking, despite what the world around us might say.
I ask God to help me reach out in prayer in these rough times. May we know God as one who intercedes for us in our deepest pain and grief and who is willing to bring healing to the hopeless, life to the dead, and joy to the ones who have been weeping for so long.