“Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who has touched my clothes'” (Mk 5:30)? The woman could have slipped away, she could have stood still and said nothing, no one knew. His disciples were bewildered that Jesus asked such a question with so many pressing about him. But the woman approached with “fear and trembling” and told him the truth. Jesus did not admonish her for breaking a social taboo but publicly acknowledged her faith.
All the while as this scene transpired, Jairus must have been in agony. He knew how close his daughter was to death, and every second counted. Jesus took that limited precious time and engaged with this woman. Just as they were about to resume their journey, and he began to breathe again, the terrible news came that his daughter had passed away.
What might have flashed through his mind at that moment? The time Jesus took to talk with the woman, could that have made the difference? He was a synagogue official and would have known the taboos she crossed to reach out and touch Jesus in public, he knew that in doing so she would make Jesus unclean, she was a woman considered the lowest of low. She was frail and pallid from her condition, at death’s door herself, yet she had mustered more courage and faith than he had.
Jesus said to the man, “Do not be afraid, just have faith” (Mk 5:36). Jairus had just witnessed such faith with the woman healed from the hemorrhage, probably someone until this very moment who he would have shown disdain for. Maybe just maybe, if he could muster the same faith as her, Jesus could bring his daughter back to life. A light shone in the darkness of his despair and the darkness did not overcome it. Jesus indeed healed his daughter, by taking her hand and commanding her to rise and walk, she came back to life.
How many of us have ourselves or have ever known someone who has experienced such great needs as did Jairus, whose daughter died and was brought back, or the woman who had been suffering for twelve years with hemorrhages and received healing? How many of us have experienced the opposite? No healing that we prayed for. We wondered where Jesus was or why didn’t he bother to help? The truth is Jesus is present, though he may or may not have brought about the outcome we seek.
February 2 marked five months since JoAnn died. She was not healed as was the woman with the hemorrhage nor while I lay by her side awaiting the funeral home to pick up her body did Jesus raise her from the dead. Sometimes, I feel like JoAnn will walk through the door like this has all been a horrible dream though I know that will not happen. Yet through each stage, Jesus has been and continues to be present with me as he is with each of us through our pain and suffering, whether we feel his presence or not. Sometimes he allows the unthinkable to happen, of which we cannot even comprehend at the time, to bring about a greater good. Often, we are not able to see that until a later date, when some time has passed, and we have gained some perspective from healing.
I still do not see a greater good at the moment. Ultimately, faith is placing our trust in our God and Father who loves us, who is present to us, and carries us in our darkest hour. Are we willing to be carried? He sent his Son Jesus to us, to walk with us. Are we willing to walk with him? Death is not the final answer. Jesus has conquered death and become the firstborn of the new creation. In this truth there is hope. I trust in the words Jesus spoke to Jairus, “Do not be afraid, just have faith (Mk 5:36). There are miracles in our lives and when we experience them we need to be thankful to God and those who journey with us. In our times of trial and sorrow, it is important to lean into Jesus and one another a little more. And when needed, allow God to carry us for a time.
Photo: JoAnn my heart and our intercessor from across the waters.