Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Walls of Safe Space

 Raising of Jairus' daughter -- Mark 5:35-43  "She is not dead, but asleep."

Eugene Peterson in The Message calls the crowd at Jairus' house gossips and casserole bringers.  These people at his house laughed at Jesus when he said she's sleeping.  These people had also told him to quit bothering the teacher.  A dismissive, unbelieving bunch of sarcastic folks.  "Poo, she's dead. Isn't that too bad?  Sucks to be them."  So, Jesus shoos them all out, keeping with him only his 3 disciples, Jairus, and his wife -- the ones who could love, the ones who could believe. How often we die in response to ridicule and shaming! How often those who are supposed to care can cause our hope to wither, our belief to be scorched to ash in the face of heated criticism.  How often we give up when our peers laugh at us!  Jairus sets out to bring Jesus to heal his daughter.  They are worried sick and scared. The crowd follows him only to see if he'd really follow through with his hair-brained scheme.  The hecklers shout, "She's a dead duck, Jairus.  Quit bothering the Teacher."    "Don't listen to them.  Trust me," says the quiet rebel man that Jairus and his wife have gone out on a limb in desperation to pursue.  We must save our daughter's life.  I'm a leader of the synagogue.  I'll be laughed at by everyone...but our daughter.  Our beautiful daughter.  A faithful Jew surrounded by cynical, doubting peers.  A dead daughter.  "Trust me."  Then, "Shoo, shoo you blind doubters."  A safe space created.  Loving walls surround a loving hand up, and the sleeping wakes!  This is no ghost, for she can eat.  Faith has made her well.  Love wins.  Parental love triumphs.  Cynicism is put down, scoffers denied.  Don't buy cynicism.  Be love.  Be trusting. And, as our Heavenly Parent protects the frightened and lonely let us,too, put up the walls of safe space so love always wins, even when it looks impossible.

Journal Questions:

  1. Recall a time when you were scoffed at or laughed at for what you believed or thought was right.  How did you feel?
  2. Did anyone come to your defense?  Knowing what you know now, what might you do to create a safe space for someone who might be caught in a similar circumstance?
  3. How likely are you to hold out hope in seemingly hopeless situations?  Can you, or do you join the doubters who throw in the towel early to protect yourself?
Create in us, O God, the skill to build safe space where love can win out.  Through Christ's power and with Jesus' light.  Amen.

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