The room was cool, dark, and nearly silent – except for the weak cries of the little girl on the bed. She had been burning with fever for several days now, and her mother feared she may never recover. Her father had left the previous day to find a Healer reported to be traveling throughout the country; but even that was a slim hope, at best.
Sweat dripped from the girl’s brow, mingling with the tears of her mother on the pillow. Her young face was contorted with unimaginable pain, taking the appearance of someone many times her age.
Then, at last, her face relaxed. At first, her mother was relieved – the pain was gone. Shortly, however, she noticed that her only daughter had stopped breathing. Her hands searched frantically for signs of a heartbeat within her daughter’s thin chest, but there was nothing.
The room was silent no more.
The anguished wails of a mother’s grief filled every corner; bursting out of every window and door in the house. Her cries alerted the mourners gathered outside; and they, too, took up the lament for a soul that was taken too soon, too soon…
* * *
Jairus had searched the whole countryside for the rumored Healer. He had almost begun to give up hope when he heard whispers that the Healer was to be found by the sea. He rushed to the shore, following the footprints of hundreds – maybe thousands – of people.
At last, he came to where the multitude was gathered, and he pushed his way to the front of the crowd.
“Master!” he cried.
The Healer turned.
“My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.”
With a nod, and a mysterious smile, the Healer arose; beckoning for Jairus to lead the way…
* * *
When she opened her eyes, the little girl was lying in deep grass in the middle of a sun-swept meadow. A little lamb was curled up in the crook of her arm, and she had never felt such peace.
Then a voice called her name and she sat up, looking around. There, coming over the top of a hill, she saw a Man.
The feeling of peace seemed to be emanating from Him – and then He called her name again.
“Here I am,” she replied, standing to her feet with the lamb still nestled in her arm.
“Walk with Me.”
She obeyed, curious. This Man knew her; and He seemed so familiar, yet she could not remember having met Him before this day.
Then she remembered; “I died, didn’t I?”
He just nodded, smiling.
“My mother will be mourning; and my father, my father – he went to find the Healer! He will be so bitter when he learns he failed.”
At this the Man paused, turned towards her, and spoke, “Oh, he did not fail. He found the Healer – He is on the way to your house as we speak.”
“But when He arrives, and finds only my body…”
“That is why I came to you now.”
They started walking again – and the lamb began to stir in her arms.
“You see,” He continued, “I wish to teach your father of faith – true faith – in his God.”
She stroked the lamb for a moment before replying, “My father knows much of faith, he teaches in the synagogue each Sabbath.”
“He knows of belief, even trust, but not faith. Faith does not see the impossible, it does not submit to fear, it accepts the power of the One in Whom it is placed.
“Your father needs a constant reminder that by faith, even the impossible can be overcome.”
“And I will be that reminder.”
His smile was back, brighter than ever. “Yes, you – his own little miracle child.”
She began to giggle, softly at first; then louder – and before long both were laughing aloud with the sheer joy of it all.
Then she reached for Him, wrapping her arms about His waist in a simple embrace. “Thank You,” she whispered, “thank You, for everything.”
“You’re welcome,” He responded, “more than you may ever know.”
They stood in silence for a few moments, then He stepped back. “You need to go back to sleep now. I will call you when it is time to awake.”
The little girl nodded, and lay quietly back down in the grass. The lamb curled up against her once more, and she slowly drifted off…
* * *
As Jairus and the Healer neared the house at last, one of the servants came to him in the street, saying, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”
Before Jairus could begin to weep the Healer smiled again and said, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
When they entered the house, the Healer looked around at the mourners wailing their grief to the heavens and asked, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” Then, ignoring the mocking comments from the mourners He stepped into the girl’s room. Approaching the bed, he took her hand and whispered, “Talitha, cumi.”
Through her dreams, the girl heard the familiar, warm voice and sat up, looking around. Immediately her eyes locked on to the kind face she had seen once before, and they shared a small, private smile before He turned to her parents and said, “She is hungry – please, bring her something to eat.”
As her parents rushed out of the room, the girl could not help but giggle softly, with the sheer joy of life…
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