My name is Jairus and my daughter is sick. I have just heard about the man whom Jesus delivered from a legion of demons. “That is huge,” I think. “If He can do that for a man who has been terrorizing the town, then he can heal my twelve year old daughter.”
I am an important man, a ruler of the synagogue, but that means nothing right now because I am desperate - desperate enough to fall at Jesus’ feet and plead for my daughter’s life. And, just like that, Jesus agrees to come to my home. But how can I keep the crowd away from Him? Everybody seems to want something. And this woman who is crouching at his feet? Why is she grabbing a hold of the hem of Jesus’ garment? Doesn’t she see He is in a hurry? My daughter lies at the point of death. Now Jesus is stopping to talk to her. Does He not understand the urgency of my need? Does He not care? I hear she has been bleeding for twelve years. Now all she has done is touch the hem of Jesus’ gown and she is healed. Will my daughter’s healing happen as quickly?
But wait! Here come the messengers with news that my daughter has died. They want me to come straight home and not bother with Jesus anymore. My thoughts overwhelm me. Why did Jesus take so long? Why did it seem like He heard my plea and that the answer was on its way? Why did He delay? Jesus overhears our conversation and the one going on in my mind and says to me, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” “But I AM afraid and it IS difficult to believe that anything more can be done for my daughter,” I think, as we head to my home with Peter, James and John. The crowd is finally behind us.
The mourners have already gone ahead of us and are causing such a commotion. Jesus admonishes them for wailing so loudly for a child who He says is just asleep. She looks dead to me. The mourners ridicule Him. I want to, as well, but I dare not. I am confused. I am either going to witness a miracle or the greatest disappointment of my life, but in that moment, when it is just Jesus, my wife and I in the room, I begin to feel the peace I can hear in His voice. “Talitha cumi,” He commands. “Little girl, I say to you arise.”
Immediately, our daughter rises and walks around. There is much rejoicing in our home that day; there is also much amazement. What a day it has been! What an emotional roller coaster! As the day ends, I reflect on all that happened- the interruptions on the way and my anxiety at Jesus’ delay. Then I realize that Jesus answered my prayer the very first time I prayed: “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.” Immediately, Jesus went with me. He never left my side. What I perceived to be delayed prayer had only been an opportunity to build my faith to believe, through all the miracles I had witnessed, that my own miracle was coming.