I can’t get Jairus out of my head these days. That crazy name has been bouncing
around in there each of these last 15 days. It wasn’t too many weeks ago in the lectionary that I
preached from the passage in Mark (Chapter 5:22-43) that gives us just a small
yet magnificent glimpse into Jairus’ life. My focus was on the story within the story, about the woman
who had a bleeding disorder and who reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’
garment. All of this happened
between the time that Jesus received the plea for Jesus to heal his daughter to
the time that he actually arrived at the bedside of Jairus daughter to perform
the healing. In light of what has
happened in my life since preaching this text, perhaps I should have focused on
the Jairus end of the story. Who
knew I would have so much in common with a man named Jairus?
So, out of the inability to get Jairus out of my head, I
return to Mark 5. What strikes me
most is something that hit me while studying the text several weeks ago—Jairus’
daughter was 12 years old. I think
I even remember noting in my sermon, even though it’s not in my manuscript, of
how it struck me that our daughters were the same age. I’ve read and studied this passage
countless times, but this time, in this 12th year of my daughter, it
grabbed me in a new way and I could relate to him and imagine what he was going
through. And, now, that
identification is even greater. I
now read this passage with a kind of association I would rather not have.
I am right there with Jairus now at the feet of Jesus,
pleading earnestly with this Jesus whom I’ve seen and whom I’ve known to do
great miracles. I am right there
in my desperation and utter fear, realizing that there is nothing else that can
work and no one else who can help.
I’m right there, not worried about what others who consider it futile or
even foolish to go to Jesus are thinking.
I’m at the feet of Jesus and I’m pleading. I’m right there believing that there is power in the hands
of Jesus and that their placement on my daughter will mean that “she will be
healed and live.”
I also identify with what must have been great impatience on
the part of Jairus when he saw Jesus taking time to stop and relate to someone
else. I’m sure he was thinking,
“Uh . . . Um., excuse me, Jesus, what are you doing? My daughter is dying and you don’t have time for anything
else.” Jesus didn’t seem to be
bothered by the urgency of the situation but was, rather, confident that he
(and she) was right in God’s timing. Healing was on the way but had not fully arrived.
I, even at this very moment, feel tremendous urgency and the
stress of timing. I fear the
unknown while my daughter sleeps and find myself pulling on the other side of
Jesus’ garment to get to moving; do something visible right now. Right now, Jesus! Jesus, don’t you know
about ICP’s and CPP’s? Don’t you
know what will happen if those numbers keep spiraling upward?
Jairus and my soul are reminding me to be patient; that
healing is on its way.
Meanwhile, I’m inserting myself into this passage and will
keep this Jairus prayer going until I see the results of “Talitha koum!”
manifest in my daughter’s body.
Jesus, "My little daughter is dying.
Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and