During this season of Lent, I want to continue to wrestle with some of the valleys we experience as we retell Jesus’ journey for our salvation. I will be reflecting on the Lukan version (Chapter 8) of the healing of The Hemorrhaging Woman and the Raising of Jairus’ Daughter.
These two miracles were twelve years in the making. Jairus’ daughter was born when the hemorrhaging woman’s condition began. The woman sought treatment after treatment, with no success. Because she was unclean for all that time, she was isolated from family, friends, and her community. The authors of each of the Gospels do not share what her life might’ve been like. How did she obtain food or the monies she used to consult physicians, healers, and others she believed could help her? Did her anguish grow each month, or had she become resigned to her condition and the rhythm of her life? Even though she was separated from those around her, somehow, she heard Jesus was coming.
We know nothing about Jairus’ daughter. We don’t know if she was a sickly child or if the illness which caused her death was sudden. As her illness grew worse, each moment of her ailment might’ve felt like twelve years of suffering for her parents. The remedies they tried failed to restore their daughter’s health. They may have relived treasured moments of her life as they watched her breathing slow and her body weaken.
Like the hemorrhaging woman, they knew that Jesus could help her. Jairus met Jesus upon our Savior’s return, asking that he help his daughter. Jairus was undoubtedly relieved when Jesus walked in the direction of Jairus’ home. And then the encounter with the hemorrhaging woman happened. Jairus’ hope for his daughter was quickly fading. The seconds and her life were ticking away. And when his servant arrived to tell Jairus’ his daughter was gone, his worst fears came true.
Jesus healed two women, connected by twelve years. We celebrate that their two lives were restored. Do we ever consider, for even twelve minutes, how much they suffered before being made whole? Or do we focus on the joyous moment for an unnamed woman and young girl, because we are uncomfortable with what led them to this moment?
Sometimes, in our relationship with God, we feel like Jairus. We pray to God for healing, comfort, and for strength. We learn that someone else’s prayers have been or are being answered. And yet, for us, the Lord is silent. We wait, relying on our faith, knowing that the Lord will reveal what is planned for us when we are ready, and the time is right. In our search for what it means to be whole, we will wrestle with letting go and letting God shape our lives and our life journeys.
The Lord’s promises for our lives and for all of creation are a wonder and a mystery to us. We never know how God will reveal what He intends for us or when. Faith helps us to wait when God answers the needs of our family and friends. God’s love sustains us as we journey through the valleys which we all endure. And in time, God’s light touches us, and we feel blessed by the love that surpasses all understanding. May the Lord continue to answer our prayers. And may we trust in the Lord today, tomorrow, and always. And Amen.