The next day we were back at the beach and it wasn’t very long before a crowd had gathered to hear Jesus teach.
“Jesus, Jesus, I need to see Jesus, please let me through.” Everyone turned to see who was making all the commotion and out of the crowd came Jairus, the leader of the synagogue.
“Jesus, you have to come, it’s my little girl, she is so sick. They tell me that there is no hope. I think she’s dying, please come.”
This was a first. People had been bringing the sick to Jesus, but this was the first time that someone wanted to bring Jesus to someone who was sick.
But Jesus didn’t even hesitate, “Let’s go” he said, and just stood up walked over to Jairus and they began walking toward town. And the crowd began to follow them, I don’t know what they thought they’d be able to do, but it was like a parade. Everyone seemed anxious to see another miracle.
We were almost there when Jesus stopped and looked around. “Who touched me?”
“Seriously Jesus, look at the crowd, everybody’s touching you.”
“Not like that Peter, someone touched me on purpose, they’ve been healed, I felt the power as it was leaving me.”
Everybody looked around, Jairus fidgeted, I knew he was anxious and who could blame him. We stood there for what seemed forever but was just a minute or two when a woman pushed her way out of the crowd and fell to her knees in front of us. “It was me, I’m the one who touched you.”
Looking at the ground she said, “For 12 years I’ve had woman problems. What is supposed to just be days each month, has been every day for years. For 12 years I have been unclean, all I wanted was to be clean again.
“I’m so sorry that I touched you, I know that I shouldn’t have, but you were my only hope.”
Jesus reached out his hand and helped her to her feet. “That’s all right my daughter, your faith has made you well.”
Daughter? That was strange, the woman was at least as old as Jesus. But with his touch you could watch the change come over her, she stood up straight, lifted her head and you could literary see the colour come back to her cheeks and her eyes light up.
Just then, a man burst out of the crowd, “It’s too late.” As people turned and looked he continued, “She’s dead, I’m so sorry Jairus, we did everything we could, but it wasn’t enough.”
And he just crumpled to the ground. Once again Jesus reached down to offer his hand, this time to Jairus. “It’s all right”, he said.
“It will never be all right,” Jairus wept, “she’s gone, if only I had gotten here sooner.” Left unsaid were the words; if only you hadn’t stopped, but I’m sure he was thinking them, others certainly were.
“Anna will be fine, Jairus, your love and your faith will heal her, come on, let’s go, she’s waiting for us.”
The change in Jairus was every bit as dramatic as it had been in the woman who touched Jesus. Despair was replaced with hope. He took Jesus’ hand and stood. “Yes, let’s go, I believe, I really do.”
When we go to the house, we were met with weeping and wailing as people reached out to console Jairus. His wife broke out of the crowd and collapsed in Jairus’ arms, he whispered in her ear and she looked at Jesus with just a faint glimmer of hope.
“It’s true” Jesus said, “She’s not dead, she’s only sleeping, let’s go wake her up.”
Someone in the crowd began to laugh, “You’re crazy” they said, “She’s dead. Don’t give them hope where there is no hope.”
“Don’t mind them, let’s go see Anna.” With a nod, Jesus singled John, James and I out of the crowd and with Jairus and his wife we went inside.
The room they took us to was dark and cool. “The light hurt her eyes.”
The little girl was laid out on her bed. At first, you would have thought that she was just sleeping, with her hands folded and her dark hair fanned out on the bed. But, on second glance, you could see the spark, the essence that made her Anna was missing.
“I wanted you to be able to say goodbye.” Her mother whispered to Jairus. “To say goodbye before we prepared her.”
For a minute it was as if they had forgotten we were there.
But Jesus hadn’t forgotten why we were there, “Anna, it’s time to get up. Your parents are waiting.”
And the spark, the essence that was Anna came back. One minute there was just the shell of a little girl, the next minute the little girl was sitting up and stretching.
She was immediately wrapped up in the arms of her parents, and we were pretty much forgotten. But that was often what happened, the miracle worker was overshadowed by the miracle.
Jesus just watched them, giving them their moment and then quietly he spoke, “Get her something to eat, she’s hungry. And unless you want people to point and whisper about her forever, let the crowd think they were right. Let them believe she was only sleeping.”
“Why, would you do that? Why not let them know she was dead?”
“Oh Peter, someday you will understand, that sometimes, there are more important things at stake than being right.”