Talitha Koum: Little Girl, I Say to You, Arise.
Over the past several months I have found myself drawn to Chapter 5 of Mark’s Gospel, specifically to the passage titled “Jairus’ Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage.” The passage is a rich yet simple vignette of two unrelated women—one who has been bleeding for 12 years, the other a 12-year-old child laying comatose in bed—who experience miraculous healing at the hands of Jesus. I’ve been returning especially to the story of Jairus’ daughter, moved by so many elements of her encounter with the Son of God.
As I read the passage, I imagine I’m the little girl. It’s dark, the air is stale, and the faint sound of weeping trickles in from a nearby room. Suddenly voices grow louder and a commotion arises. I lay in a thick fog, on the brink of consciousness. The voices simmer down until no sound remains except soft footsteps drawing near. And then someone is gently grasping my hand. Little girl, I say to you, arise! Color and light flood in, my tired lungs fill with fresh air, my feet touch down on solid ground, and then I am walking toward the man who spoke.
We all experience different seasons of life; some bright and blooming, others foggy and confusing, and some dark and seemingly hopeless. I’ve experienced a few of these seasons recently, and in each one God brings me back to Jairus’ daughter’s room. He takes my hand, whispers those words into my ear, and calls me to life over and over again.
Sometimes Jesus heals us immediately and sometimes he slowly calls us to deeper and deeper healing. As I reflect on my own life, I see that Jesus has been continually calling me to be more alive.
We might not be at the point of physical death, but God’s desire for all of us is to live abundantly as his sons and daughters—not just in heaven, but here on earth too. Jesus comes right into the weeping and wailing, the confusion and doubt, and speaks hope. Just as he says to the weeping people who doubt that the girl can be saved, Jesus says to us; Do not be afraid; just have faith. Yes, the pain and suffering are real. But Jesus offers life in the midst of it.
I pray that we may have the faith of Jairus, who believed Jesus could heal despite rebukes from all those around him. I also pray that we may be willing to let Jesus take our hand and tell us to rise. And finally, I pray that much like the crowd who was “utterly astounded” after the little girl rises, we may also let ourselves be awed by the miracles (both big and small) that he performs.