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Talitha Koum

What is it about William Wallace and his fight for Scotland that inspired me so when I first saw Braveheart and continues to energize me when brought to mind even today?  Perhaps its the same thing that makes the Tale of Despereaux or To Kill a Mockingbird so powerful.  The individual who willingly risks personal loss for a greater good, even if that good is not visible to the public opinion polls.  Those tales awaken in the reader (or viewer) a clarity of the Good, making it seem not as far out of reach as we convince ourselves it is.  It is the story of the person and work of Jesus, the ultimate hero, who took on death so that all may have life.

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  1 Peter 4:12-13

The order of suffering and then glory, never the latter without the former, is the order of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  There is no resurrection without the cross, and so there really is no life of Jesus in me without the prerequisite death of Adam in me.  William Wallace, Atticus and many others who give us little samples of the larger narrative of Jesus, stir up courage and willingness in us to face death because we see the life that follows those sacrifices.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18

The problem for me is that I don’t honestly want to walk the hill to Golgotha or linger there for much time.  Present sufferings are so life sucking and feeling dead inside is, well, lifeless.  Feeling dead inside might be compared to feeling like a used ash tray, full of putrid, burned cigarette butt which is not just filthy and smelly in itself but toxic to those around it.  I don’t want to be toxic to others, or even slightly burdensome.  Dead weight is heavy.  Yet it seems, if I could apply my faith to even this, that dead weight is to be expected with death and death is required for resurrection.  AND, no dead person can resurrect herself or himself.  I want to be fighting for Scotland, so to speak, and instead I am lying in the tomb of the defeated.  My story isn’t the hero’s story but that of a desperate need for one.

He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”  But they laughed at him.  After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.  He took her by the hand and said to her,“Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.  Mark 5:39-42

Yesterday morning, even beyond my virus ridden body, I was acutely aware of the death of my soul.  I felt the profound need for resurrection.  Yesterday, rather than resurrection, I was still in the darkness of Friday.  And I realized, that is ok.  He will come to my side when it is the right time and say, “Talitha koum!”   And the resurrected version of my heart will fight for Scotland (or better yet, God’s Kingdom) more gloriously and effectively than the one that climbed the hill to Golgotha and that currently lies in the darkness of the tomb.

Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  2 Cor. 1:9

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