Sleepy Graves: Talitha Cumi

Sometimes, I read the red words in my Bible out loud. I picture Jesus saying them, the words on his lips, and they begin to come alive. He was kind, inclusive, and bold. Most importantly, he was loving – and he is life.

There’s a story in Mark that I find compelling.

A woman had just touched Jesus’s robe and was healed. In the midst of this, the news came to a man named Jairus that his daughter had died. Jairus had come to Jesus to ask for healing; instead, he received something bigger, something deeper, and something more glorious. He received resurrection.

The messengers told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”

But Jesus was listening. He responded, “Don’t be afraid, just have faith.”

Jesus approached the home of Jairus. The people there wept and mourned for the little girl, but Jesus knew better.

He said, “The child isn’t dead, she’s only asleep.”

What did the people do when he said this? They laughed.

But Jesus took dismissed the haters and took the mother and father into the room where the little girl was lying. He took her twelve-year-old hand into his. I imagine him pressing his fingers on her palm when he whispered to her, “Talitha cumi.”

Talitha cumi.

Talitha cumi.

Talitha cumi.

It means, “Little girl, arise!”

She stood up, walked around, and he made her eat.

Even when someone says, “It’s no use” – just have faith. Every single one of us is that little girl. We fall asleep in our graves of comfort. Every morning and every day Jesus says to us, “Talitha cumi.” He calls us from our sleepy graves, and charges us with resurrection. Out of death, he charges us with new life. We are marked by empty graves.

So get up, and get something to eat.

Mark 5:35-43



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