SAUCIER — Rise and shine


A quick recap.

Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, where he was met by Jairus. This synagogue leader begged Jesus to cure his dying daughter.

In the pressing crowd, a woman grabbed at Jesus’s cloak. She was cured of the hemorrhaging that had impoverished and ostracized her.

Then Jairus’s servants arrived and informed him that the girl had died.

Jesus tells the stricken father, “Do not be afraid.”

At the house, Jesus takes the little girl’s hand saying, “Talitha koum,” “Little girl, arise.”

And she did.

This story also appears in Matthew and Luke, but only Mark has the Aramaic words of Jesus.

I was curious about “talitha.” I was wondering what the male form would be, but found that it is not gendered, basically meaning “little one.”

Then I discovered that “talitha” is related to the word for lamb and could be translated as “little wounded lamb.”

In one of the other two instances where Jesus restored someone to life, he said to the widow’s son in Nain, “Young man, arise.”

I wondered if Jesus said, “Talitha koum” to him, as well.

“My little wounded lamb, arise.”

For me, this possibility added a rich new dimension.

It hearkened back to Isaiah 40 and the origin of Jesus as the Good Shepherd: “He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart: and gently leads those who have young.”

Jairius and his daughter, the widow and her son, even the bleeding woman who Jesus calls daughter are all wrapped in the loving arms of the shepherd.

But “little wounded lamb” evokes so much more; is so much more personal.

We don’t like to admit it, maybe don’t even realize it, but we are all little wounded lambs in some way.

Many of these wounds, long forgotten but still painful, go back to our childhood.

Failures, embarrassments, rejections, differences — not only leave a scar, but still fester under the surface, affecting our self-image, our attitudes and our relationships today.

It is not all the baggage of childhood. Even as adults, we can be gravely wounded by lost loves, fractured friendships, dreams that never came to pass, and by not being really known by others.

The Good Shepherd assures us that there is strength to cope, grace to heal, and love to lift us up.

It’s there for the asking, but first, like the woman clutching Jesus’s clothes, I must admit that I, too, am a little wounded lamb.