Talitha Cumi: Little Girl, I Say To You, Arise.


By Alison Moore

This beautiful line from Mark 5 is one of my favorite verses in Scripture. It is a verse filled with power, gentleness, and the intense, unique, personal love of our Lord. 

Prior to this little girl’s healing, messengers from the girl’s family meet Jesus and the girl’s father and attempt to convince them that it is not worth Jesus’ time to come heal her: “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” (Mk 5:35) But Jesus, in His goodness, replies, “Do not fear, only believe” (Mk 5: 36). In this act of healing the little girl, Jesus makes a powerful, loving statement: 

You may feel that she is lost, and that to visit her would be a waste of My time. I, who see all, see that all is not lost, and that she is worthy of My time. 

Jesus then proceeds to visit the little girl in her home, where He gently takes her cold, lifeless hands and calls her to arise. Wow.

And of course, my sisters in Christ, we are each this little girl. She remains unnamed in order that we might place ourselves on her mat, that we might remember how we too feel paralyzed and crippled by our fears, shortcomings, and failures. How even sometimes, we may feel dead to the world. And just like this little girl, there will be times when we feel abandoned or disappointed by others’ actions. 

In these moments, it is Jesus who will answer our call. He has not given up on us, even if our hearts have ceased, and He is already at our side, taking our hand and granting us the grace to arise. He sees us as beloved daughters: worthy of His time and so in need of His healing and love. 

Just ten lines before Jesus approaches this little girl’s house, He is stopped on the way by a hemorrhaging woman who has bled for twelve years. She, in her great faith is convicted to God’s power and says, “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” (Mk 5:28)

Now, when Jesus realizes that someone has touched His garments, He asks His disciples who has done it, and they dismiss the event, saying, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’" (Mk 5:31)

Jesus could have kept walking, but He did not. He stopped and “looked around to see who had done it.” (Mk 5:32) When the hemorrhaging woman steps forward to explain, Jesus greets her with compassion and mercy: 

Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.
— Mk 5:34

Once again, Jesus greets this daughter of the Heavenly Father lovingly, because she is worthy of His time. He doesn’t brush off the touching of His cloak, nor does He keep walking, nor does He tell the woman that she should have asked Him for healing. He stops. He listens. He responds lovingly. And he doesn't just heal her of her physical hardship but whatever mental or spiritual illness that weighed on her as well, offering her peace. This moment, too, is a narrative of our conversations with Christ. No matter who we are—young or old—or where we are—out in the street or in our homes—the Lord encounters us and He listens. He responds. He loves. For we are worthy of His time and our hearts thirst for His healing and love.