There is a lot of anguish in the readings today, isn’t there? Most markedly is the anguish of King David, mourning the death of his son Absalom. His anguish was most surprising to his army, because they had been fighting Absalom’s thugs who were helping him to overthrow the government of David. But even though Absalom was seeking his father’s life, Absalom is still his son, and his death is no occasion for joy.
Then there is the anguish of Jairus, the synagogue official, whose daughter was near death when he reached out to Jesus. It becomes more distressing when, on the way to heal his daughter, they are confronted with the anguish of the hemorrhagic woman, who had been suffering for twelve years, at “the hands of many doctors,” who had apparently done nothing for her but take her money. Knowing that he had healed someone, he stopped to reach out to her so as to heal her spirit. All of which becomes even more distressing as they reach Jairus’s daughter, who has just died.
But Jesus is the enemy of death and anguish, so he heals the hemorrhagic woman, he raises the daughter of Jairus with a word of command, and he teaches us the essential truth that faith is essential to healing. David had faith and poured out his heart to God in our psalm today, and was eventually given peace. Jairus had faith, and found out that death is not more powerful than God. The hemorrhagic woman had faith and found that God’s love can bind up the wounds of so many years.
Whatever our anguish is today, may we bring it to God, trusting as David did: “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.”