A long walk

(A repost from December 27, 2011)

We struggle with goals. We read that telling people your goals is dangerous. It can give you the buzz of affirmation without having to do the hard work. Having goals is fine. But keep them to yourself.

But this isn’t a story about goals. This is about a walk captured in the Bible, but never described.

Jairus had a dying daughter. He went to Jesus. Jesus started coming to his house. Jesus was distracted by a different miracle. And then someone says, “never mind, she’s dead. Leave him alone.”

Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid; just believe and she will be healed.” The next thing we read is that Jesus arrives at the house.

Between those sentences, between “she will be healed” and Jesus arriving was a very long walk for Jairus. We aren’t told the distance of the walk. It probably wasn’t more than a few hundred steps. But any of us in the middle of emotional devastation know that the distance in our hearts has little connection to the distance for our feet. Throughout that walk, his daughter was dead.

“Just believe” was all that Jesus told Jarius to do. We often turn that into some kind of measure, and we think that if we believe enough amazing things will happen. If they don’t happen, it’s our fault, because we didn’t believe enough. In this case, believing was simple. It just meant walking with Jesus all the way home.

We don’t know what they talked about, or if they talked. Was Jesus silent? Did he ask Jairus about his daughter’s favorite foods? Did he talk about the 1969 Mets?

No idea. Apparently, it doesn’t matter for us. But Jairus walked home with Jesus, ignoring the apparent certainty of her death.

Not every child is raised. But every promise is kept.

I wrote about how Hope got her name: Owl Moon

And if you want to hear about my conversation with Nehemiah, consider subscribing to “A great work”, my new weekly email newsletter from the book of Nehemiah.