Enjoy this story of hope for the weekend.
Jairus walked back and forth in the waiting room, where his only daughter lay. She was attended by her mother and the women. With his arms folded behind him, he continued to pace, ignoring the looks from his wife. Now, they had become tearful looks, pleading even.
Jairus remembered the shock he had received the night before, when she had walked into his office, interrupting his evening meditations, he had looked up at her, eyes wide. His wife had learned from the generations of Jewish women before her to be temperate. She had always been silent before him, obeying his every command, dutifully attending to the responsibilities of the woman of the house.
He shook his head, glancing at his wife, as he remembered how she had not waited for his permission, but had stepped in and sat at his feet. When he had regained his composure, he had asked,
“What’s this about woman, did you not see me meditating?”
She didn’t respond immediately, but knelt before him, looking down.
“I am sorry, my lord. I have a grave matter to discuss. It is important and has made me act without reason.”
“What is this grave matter?”
She looked up and straight at him. His eyes had widened again at that.
“Our daughter, my lord. She is not getting better, and I believe it is time we take drastic steps. She is my only child.”
“Are you saying that we can do more than the learned doctors have done? We need to pray and hope that God hears, which is what I was doing before I was disturbed.” He said a frown on his face.
She sighed and looked down.
“What of the healer, the one they call rabbi— “
“Shut your mouth and leave this place. Do you know what you ask, what you speak? Are you asking me to go to the one nobody knows his lineage or background? A ruler of the synagogue? He bunched his hands into fists and looked at her with narrowed eyes. He got up to leave. She held his leg and cried.
“Mercy, my lord. She is our only child, please.”
Not looking at her, he had forced his legs away and left her there.
His daughter had started coughing again, he stopped pacing.
“My lord,” his wife called from the room. He dashed in as she wiped the last traces of blood from the girl’s mouth. His daughter’s skin paled like white-washed stones. She seemed to have coughed up the last blood in her body.
His wife, crying now, turned to him.
“She has lost consciousness; we are losing her!” She warned.
He looked away from the scene, a tear dropping from his eye. He thought he was ready for this; he thought the problem would only be his wife. The pain he felt in his chest as he remembered his child smiling at him in welcome, nearly robbed him of breath.
“No, no!” He shouted, running out of the house.
He would look for him, for the man they called Jesus, he thought. No matter what it cost him, nothing compared to his daughter. He tried to remember the houses Jesus had been spotted in last, Jairus had read the reports on him. Fear took over, what if she died before he reached him, what if…
A gathering, a distance away caught his attention. A crowd was moving forward, some people were trying to get into the middle of things, to reach something or someone. Jairus took off in a sprinting, hoping against hope that it was Jesus. He forced his way through the throng of people, and when he saw Jesus, almost wept with relief. Pushing forward, he got to Jesus and catching his eye, fell at his feet.
“My daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay hands on her that she may be healed, and she will live.”
He saw the compassion in Jesus’ eyes as he nodded at him, and Jairus wept. They helped him up, and he led the crowd to his house, moving quickly, careful of the time, his daughter must not die. Rushing forward, he nearly missed the fact that the group had stopped following until he noted that the noise behind him seemed to be dying down.
He looked back and saw that the crowd and Jesus had stopped for a reason. Jairus rushed back to them and stood by, thinking of a way to hurry things along. Someone tapped his shoulder, it was his friend, a fellow ruler. The look on his face stopped Jairus, who was about to explain his reason for being there.
“Your daughter is dead, my friend. Why trouble the teacher any further?”
His friend immediately took his lifeless arm and started tugging him away. Jairus was without thought, as tears slid down his face. He felt cold. Led by his friend, Jairus turned back to the crowd and saw Jesus step out, looking at him. He stopped walking, looking at Jesus.
Do not be afraid; only believe.” Jesus said.
He asked for Peter, James, and John alone to follow him as he walked away from the crowd and towards Jairus. Jairus’ heart was beating non-stop, hoping, but daring not to. Alive from the dead, how? As Jesus walked up to him, Jairus led the way, not needing his friend’s help any longer. The thought that there might be a chance strengthened him, and he walked faster.
He got home and stepped in. The noise of sorrow and wailing filled the air, and looking around, he saw the women holding his wife. She stood, facing down, rolling from side to side in her grief. His sorrow seemed to rise in his chest. Unable to speak, he looked back at Jesus, who had just entered his home, pleading.
“Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” Jesus said in a loud voice.
As people looked up, all from the synagogue, they laughed. Not just at Jesus, but at Jairus as well. Jairus looked at his wife, who had left the women to stand by his side. She was looking at Jesus, eyes shining with hope, and Jairus turned to Jesus as well, not knowing what to think.
Jesus turned to him, “Everyone should leave for a moment, except you two.”
His wife went to the women and told them what to do. In a matter of minutes, people left.
Jairus led them to where his daughter lay, lifeless. Jesus took her hand and said,
“Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
His daughter immediately got up, and his wife held on to Jairus for dear life. Mouths gaping open, they watched as their twelve-year-old daughter got up from the bed and walked towards them. They were speechless.
“Mama.” She said, calling to her mother, who wailed as she ran and enfolded her daughter in her arms.
Jairus was weeping as he looked at Jesus, he still had no words. He tried and said, “thank you, Rabbi.”
Jesus nodded, smiling at him.
“Tell no one what happened here today. Make sure the child gets something to eat.” He said and left with his disciples.