Here’s the story.
Jarius, a ruler in the day, shows up, requesting that Jesus come & heal his daughter, who is very ill. By the time the crew gets Jesus back to Jarius’ house, all the people are sobbing, mourning the young girl who had died at some point during her father’s journey to retrieve Jesus.
& though there isn’t great detail, I could imagine Jarius having a breakdown right then & there, having not even had the chance to say good bye to his precious little girl. His baby, gone before Jesus could even have a chance.
So when Jesus enters the home, telling everyone, “It’s okay, everyone, she’s only sleeping,” following so many witnesses who had come to mourn her death, feeling her lifelessness as she lay in complete stillness, they all laugh at him, because of all things they were in the heat of the moment, they weren’t stupid. The girl was dead.
I probably would’ve laughed, too. A bitter, hateful laugh.
“I cannot believe you.”
But Jesus ignores us all in our unbelief, as he beckons the child, “Talitha Cumi”, meaning ‘little girl, I say to you, arise’. (Mark 5:35-43)
& here I am, laughing at the faith God is expecting me to have, that everything will work out in the end, without leaving me surrounded by crisp, molten ashes. Here I am, wondering if he knows what he’s asking of me, if he remembers 5 foot 2 inch me, & how tall he’s asking me to stand. Here I am, wondering if he’s been in a daze for the last three months of my life, knowing all the weight I’m carrying, & with which arm I’m supposed to load this new fangled mission he’d like me to accomplish. I’m laughing, shaking my head in disbelief, as he is patiently disregarding my laughter, repeating himself. Talitha Cumi.
Sweet child. Come alive.
I remember the three men who came to Abraham, Sarah overhearing their prophetic message, that one year from now, she will have given birth to a babe.
& she did it, too.
Laughter, fluid through her whole being, in mockery of her obvious limitations.
Why wouldn’t she. The whole fertility thing was a touchy subject for her, after wishing for years that she could provide Abraham with the joy of a son. By the age of 90, the last thing she was probably still clinging to was that her time would come.
Rather than looking to the God who is capable of anything, who fulfills every one of his promises, & resting in his capabilities, her eyes never left her old, saggy body.
Tell me, love. Is his arm too short?
Tell me, sweet child, will you rise? & when I call you to greater, will you allow me & believe in me to lift you beyond your own limitations?
So this is what he wanted me to hear, as I lay on my couch in the mornings replacing his sacred words with a holy game of Two Dots on my Ipad.
This is why he won’t let the words fall limp before I listen to them with my whole heart.
Because he spoke this in a dream I couldn’t shake, but was too busy being too tired to dig deeper, that I might find the words he was speaking to me. A dream in which I stood under a covering watching everything be crushed by ice twice. I saw a new temple, without walls or roof, simply pews, being laid out before me as a scroll with his law was projected amongst the stars. & through the defining silence, I knew this was another chance, & he was asking me to step out from the unbelief & doubt & be the first to come. To come & sing to my King, despite what I thought others might think. He asked me to come & arise. Won’t you dance with me?
So Sunday, I shouldn’t of been surprised when the message was the very thing I dreamt about. Or, to say the least, something very similar, directed at the church as a body. Will you rise out of your complacency? Will you see beyond your own limitations?
Talitha Cumi, sweet love. Arise.
It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.