Mark 5:21-43 (NRSV)
Verse 21When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Verse 22Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet Verse 23and begged him repeatedly, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live."
Verse 24So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Verse 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. Verse 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. Verse 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, Verse 28for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well." Verse 29Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Verse 30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?" Verse 31And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, 'Who touched me?'" Verse 32He looked all around to see who had done it. Verse 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. Verse 34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
Verse 35While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader's house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?" Verse 36But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." Verse 37He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. Verse 38When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. Verse 39When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." Verse 40And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. Verse 41He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" Verse 42And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. Verse 43He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Have you ever thought that you were invisible or out on the fringes of life? How did that make you feel? Think about the woman in our story who somehow finds the courage to approach Jesus. Refusing to be powerless any longer, she breaks through the social, cultural and religious barriers that have left her in isolation. Reaching across the life boundaries that kept her apart, she shows extraordinary faith. Jesus shows her kindness and calls her daughter, giving her a blessing that brings her new life. This daughter is you and me. I don’t know what you’ve had to endure, or what you’ve had to go through. I don’t know how others have judged you, or even why it has occurred. But I do know that something in each one of us is yearning for healing, seeking after a blessing, and willing to believe. And, really, the desire to believe is enough.
Compassionate God, help us find healing and wholeness and new life in you. Amen.