Love is a many splendored thing, indeed!

He knew from looking at her bluing lips that death was imminent – every breath labored and painful for his precious daughter.  He didn’t understand why this was happening to him.  He as a man of position and power.  There were few who outranked him and yet – in the face of death, he was powerless.

~~~~~~

She walked quietly, hoping to draw no attention to herself.  She was so concerned about being seen that she had slipped out of her house in the middle of the night and began walking in the dark.  She had much to be afraid of – but suffering as much as she was, the potential of death seemed almost welcome.  She would rather live – but if it meant living as she had been, she was willing to risk death.  As the sun rose, she tucked herself away, slowly walking the back streets of the village,  hoping no one would notice a frail, broken woman and begin asking questions.

~~~~~~

He could see the crowds, he knew that He would be in the midst of them.  The people thronged Him wherever He went. Jairus had been watching Him for some time.  There were some in the synagogue that despised Him and said He was evil.  Jairus supposed that if things were different, he might be suspicious of Him as well, but right now – He was his only hope and he was willing to take the risk.  The life of his beloved daughter demanded it….his only daughter….his only child.

~~~~~~

She heard Him coming before she saw Him. The people calling His name and running from every direction to greet Him made His presence well known.  From where she stood, she dared to raise her eyes and glance at Him –  He looked just as she had dreamed.  So weak now she could barely walk, she joined the clamoring people about Him.  “Look at me!”  “Heal me!”  “Touch me!”  the volume alone made her ache within, but the pushing and the pulling almost made her cry out in pain.  Several times, she thought she would surely fall over – but in the last second someone pushed her from the other direction and she was able to regain her balance.  Fixing her eyes only on the blue of His robe, she pressed ahead.  Straining.  Focused. Praying.  “Oh, please G*d, just a few more steps.” At last – He stopped walking, He turned and started her way – hope was within her grasp…..

~~~~~~

With no sense of pride whatsoever, Jairus went and threw himself at the feet of Jesus.  “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.”  Jesus bent down and touched him.  Jairus waffled only for a moment, afraid to look into His eyes and afraid that if he did not, his daughter might not receive the touch he ached for.  He extended His hand and Jairus took it.  He felt the warmth of His hand – it was not just the warmth of the day, it was the warmth of love – it flowed through Jairus.

~~~~~~

As He stooped to reach out His hand to the man, she reached forward, the blue in the fringe holding her full concentration.   She touched Him….. His love and His power flowed through her.  She stood there, holding her breath, for only a moment and in that moment, she knew.  She had been healed.

~~~~~~

He stopped and turned around, “Who touched Me?”  His eyes looking over the crowd.  Her frail body was small, and yet she tried to make it smaller, hoping His eyes would not fall upon her.  The men with Him stepped forward and said, “Master, You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”   He looked at them and back at the crowd.  She trembled.  She knew her misery of twelve, long, pain-filled years was over.  Would He demand the gift back?  Would He let them know who she was – the crime she had committed?  She stepped forward….her knees gave way and she too fell at His feet.  “Sir, it was me….”  She watched as the first tear fell from her face and made a mark in the sand and dirt that she kneeled in.

~~~~~~

Jairus watched as this man – this man who changed him only by touching him, listened to this pitiful woman in the dirt.  There was a part of him that desired to grab her and jerk her to her feet, did she not understand?  No matter what her need – HIS was greater.  It was his daughter…she was dying and they were wasting time with this…creature.  He could feel the frustration rise up in him, the temptation to kick her began to burn in his leg.  Then he caught His glance.   His eyes held the same warmth that His hand did and the frenzy and panic that was rushing to the surface with such unbridled passion abated…in that moment he knew love for this woman at Jesus’ feet.

~~~~~~

As the last word of her story fell from her lips, she glanced at the man at Jesus’ side.  He looked upon her with kindness….with love in his eyes.  Did he belong to this man to whom she owed her life?  Jesus’ voice was gentle…it was quiet and it too was filled with love – love like she had never known before.  He reached His hand out to her “Daughter…your faith has made you well.”  He lifted her to her feet, “Go in shalom, back to your people, and be healed of your affliction.”  His words had barely left His lips when the running man shouted out,  “Jairus – your daughter – is dead. You delayed too long – she is gone.  Bother the Teacher no more.”   She looked at the man who had kindness in his eyes.  She expected to see fury, as she knew that it was she who had delayed them….instead she saw tears and pain, but no condemnation was there for her.

~~~~~~

Many times when we read this story, we are so caught up in all the details of all that was going on and we miss the depth of the sacrifice of love that Jairus gave to this woman.  In his pain, it is not unthinkable that he would have responded in anger or at the very least wrestled the HUGE temptation to be angry.  We all know that were we the woman, being set free after twelve years of agonizing sickness, pain and affliction, our story would not be short. Surely both he and she knew that Jesus’ delay was wholly her fault.  Yet, we see no record of his condemnation of her, nor even his disgust toward her.  He said nothing.  In those moments when he believed that this pitiful woman had kept Jesus from healing his daughter, he was silent and extended love beyond comprehension.

The kind of love that can only come from knowing our Savior…..

Happy Valentines’ Day, my friends.  I apologize for the length of this story.  It demanded to be JUST this long.  🙂

This story is written for a friend of ours.  He too has fought his own bleeding – bleeding of heart – we pray that while he is waiting for his own healing,  like the woman, he too will press through the thronging crowd that threatens to overwhelm him and like Jairus – endure the waiting, even when it seems interminable, for the sake of another.  You have fought the good fight, friend, do not give up!

 

 

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Comments
2 Responses to “Love is a many splendored thing, indeed!”
  1. petersonclan says:

    I read this story in my Bible reading today… you made it so REAL! I would be so tempted to yell and Jesus, “COME ONE! My daughter is DYING! She’s healed, now let’s GO!”

  2. javadawn says:

    ME TOO!!!! I would want to scream and kick and throw a hissy fit! I can’t imagine how great a love would cause you to sit and listen to a woman retell 12 yrs of medical history (I have a sil who can spend two hours telling me about the last month, let alone 12 yrs of misery and giving of all she had!!! ) all the while knowing your daughter was dying. I would have been ready to spit nails.

    It still makes me just shake my head to be able to extend that much love to her – and not scream at her or kick at her when they came to tell me my child was dead….. WOW…..

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