A Tale of Two Women

A tale of two women

Jairus is such a good man! 
Who could want for a better husband
and how could the synagogue wish for a better ruler? 
When Miriam – that’s our daughter, she’s only twelve – fell ill with a fever,
he knew straight away what to do.  
‘I’m going for Jesus’, he said to Miriam, though I don’t know whether she heard him. 
And it wasn’t long before a messenger came
to say that Jairus had found Jesus by the lake
and that he was coming as soon as he could.
What a relief!
I thanked God and whispered to my little one,
‘Just hang on, sweetheart.’
The trouble was, I could feel her slipping away from me.
And then another messenger came – saying that Jesus was held up.
Held up!  How could he be held up when my daughter was dying?!
I was in despair.
It wasn’t long before I called the messenger back:
‘Tell the teacher not to worry’, I said, ‘Its too late.’

Jesus is my hero! 
Twelve long years of pain and indignity,
of doctors and treatments,
of hopes raised and dashed,
of stigma and rejection.
Nothing ever worked,
everything cost money,
I gradually lost all family and friends,
lost all my resources,
lost my dignity and my self-esteem.
The constant haemorrhaging
drained me physically, mentally and spiritually.
When I heard that Jesus was back in town
I was determined to get near him.
I was too scared to actually approach him – and too embarrassed –
but I just knew that if I could touch his clothes
I would be healed.
I struggled through the crowd, hoping no-one would recognise me.
I got as near as I dared and then stretched out and touched his cloak.
Immediately, I knew the bleeding has stopped
and I was well again.
I turned to go, but Jesus turned too.
He wanted to know who had touched him.
I could have died of embarrassment.
I didn’t want a fuss made.
I didn’t want to say what I had done.
I didn’t want to hold Jesus up, I think he was on his way to a sick child.
But he kept on and wouldn’t let it go.
So, I had to own up.
I knelt in front of him, shaking like a leaf,
and told him about my condition and about the cure.
Jesus smiled at me.
He took me by the hand and lifted me up.
He called me ‘Daughter’ and said that my faith had saved me.
He told me to go in peace and not suffer anymore.
On the edge of my consciousness,
I could hear someone saying that the child had died
but all I could take in was that I was free and that Jesus cared about me.
I was in a warm haze of love and freedom
and I wanted to stay there for ever.

The neighbours had come in as soon as they heard the news.
The noise of their wailing and mourning brought in others
and there was such a commotion.
I couldn’t sit down in my own house.
I was numb and distressed and I just wanted Jairus.
On the edge of my consciousness, I thought I could hear my husband –
and then suddenly all the commotion stopped and there was a silence.
Through my tears I saw the man that must have been Jesus.
He touched my arm and said, ‘She is not dead.  She only sleeps.’
I started to say, ‘No, no, we’ve lost her...’ but Jesus was going
into Miriam’s room with some of his friends and Jairus.
I followed quickly and saw my little girl lying still and cold.
Jesus sat on the bed and took her stiff hand.
‘Little girl’, he said, ‘get up’.
To this day, I cannot describe the feeling I had as she opened her eyes,
as she sat up and as she grinned – yes, grinned – at Jesus.
‘Daddy did find you!’, she said, and gave him a big hug!

©  Jacqui A Horton 2009

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