Today’s gospel Mark, 5:21-43, includes the amazing story of Jairus, a synagogue official, whose daughter is ill and near death, and as Jesus heads over to see his little girl, another woman (who has been sick her whole life) touches Jesus and is healed. By the time Jesus gets to the little girl, it seems she has died. Jesus says “Little girl, I say to you, Arise!” and she is healed.
The grace-filled lyrics of one of my favorite songs right now, by the group “His Own”, who accompanied us on retreat this past weekend, is about this scripture. “Little Girl, Get Up”, the song by His Own, speaks to this gospel, but as the mission of their music is about the true Christian Dignity of women…you can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHN80ICJvFA
When I first heard this song, I didn’t remember the exact words to the gospel, but it brought to mind at that moment, and every moment since when I hear the song or read this passage, what God is speaking to my heart, and the beautiful amazing feminine hearts of the world that seek him, which is this: You are HIS precious Little Girl. Yes, even #YouToo. Get up! ARISE from your sleep. God is the King and He is calling YOUR name. You are not someone’s victim and let yourself NOT become a victim of your own fear either. What do I mean by that? I mean in my life I have had to battle to break through walls of imprisonment of my own fears and hurts, and I would bet that you have too. Have you built a prison wall for yourself to barricade yourself from all that can harm you out there in the world? Even sometimes a “numbing wall” inside the greater fortress of your fears, made out of bricks that “take the edge off” of feeling your reality, like food, wine, chocolate, social media, etc. Those creations can be gifts, but what to what end are you using them? If they are protecting you or numbing you from dealing with hurt in your life, then take a longer look at them.
There is a lot of evil in the world. God is bigger than that evil. He is bigger than the victimization that lies outside of us, and also of the way we have built protection around ourselves because someone has hurt us. We can trust our Heavenly Father. We can open up and feel with our whole heart and know that nothing and no one can break the bonds of love God has for us; it doesn’t matter what you have done. His mercy is endless and don’t listen to any lie that says that you are not forgiven. If you ask with your whole heart for His mercy, it will be given to you.
Secondly, this gospel says “He gave strict orders that no one should know this”. Why doesn’t he want anyone to know? Aren’t we to spread the good news? Yes! But he barely made it to the little girl because the crowds were pushing in on him grabbing at him touching him, and everyone wanting something. But what happens? A woman with tremendous faith pushes her way through the crowd and touches him. He has hands and people all around him, and he stops and asks who touched him. His disciples say “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you and yet you ask ‘Who touched me?” He knows that great faith has been drawn of him. Many people wanted things from him and yet he felt the one with the faith. He was there to heal the SICK; that is the sickness or malady in you and me that keeps us from trusting him. He wants to be drawn upon out of FAITH; not just people who want to be healed for the sake of being healthy. She wanted a part of him that was healing; a relationship with his healing nature. Perhaps the other hands were grabbing at a “quick fix”? He couldn’t help but be poured out upon the woman who desired a relationship with him, (“Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him…” not “he gave out power”, it had gone out from him!) even though he was in the middle of heading to raise this little girl out of her coma or near-death state. There was time and room for all who truly desired to be healed.
Why do you seek him? To fix a problem? I challenge you, seek Him for HIS OWN sake. (Not the music group this time, I mean for the sake of HIM, knowing Him and having an ongoing relationship with HIM!) Not a “quick fix”, or just to be healthy, or just to get you out of this uncomfortable situation you are in. Have the PURE intention of seeking HIM, not just His healing power. Purity of intention helps our prayer lives in a special way.
Lastly, why would Jesus need to tell these people to feed their child who almost died? The first act of human nature that anyone would do for this very sick child would be to offer a drink or bite to eat, let alone the parental nature of her mother and father (who you can bet spent the rest of the day, week and even year at her side making sure she was tended to). Perhaps he said she needed to be given something to eat meaning not the bread that we digest and need again in the next few hours, but the bread of life (John 6:35); she needed nourished by the living word of God, GOD HIMSELF. She needed strengthened for the rest of her days, and not the just the next few hours. Are we feeding our children the food of the eternal kind? The bread of life? Why, I may even ask you, Little Girl, or Little boy, (the child that lives in you) (Luke 18:15) are you feeding yourself the Bread of Life? If you don’t want to hunger again and again with an insatiable need for something, if you want peace that lasts despite tragedy and sadness, then there is no other food you can eat, my friend, that will give you this lasting nourishment, than the living word of God. Praying with, in, and through it, and especially in the good company of the Holy Spirit and often a few others who are hungry for the same peace, is the way you will be filled. Ask Him now, to help you know how to procede.
“Little Girl, I say to you, ARISE!” and I say to you, reading this now (by no mistake) stir yourself out of your own numbness and ARISE.
“The girl, a child of twelve arose immediately and walked around. At that, they were utterly astounded”.