Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trust Me

Have you ever heard someone say, 'Just trust me!'? And have you ever actually trusted them? It's the mantra of shonky salespeople and the repetitive chant of manipulative shady-tradies.

I'm pretty sure that I have never trusted anyone who has to tell me to trust them. If they haven't earned my trust, then I'm pretty sure I'll never give it on their words alone.

It's kind of like the screenwriting rule - show don't tell. You should never tell the viewer everything that is going on. The viewer should be able to deduce and determine what a character is thinking and feeling by their actions and their speech. Otherwise, you may as well have a narrator on screen talking you through what is happening. Part of the fun of a movie is figuring out what's going on.

This morning when I was getting ready for work, I did all my ablutions, got dressed, tied my hair up and jumped back into bed to read my Bible for a few minutes before heading off. It's my little bit of quiet time (and on occasion extra nap time).

I was reading through Mark, and got to the story of Jairus and his daughter. Jairus was bringing Jesus back to his home to heal his sick daughter, when on the way, his daughter died. I like this story, not because of the daughter dying, because Jairus was a real man in a real situation. He had real hopes and real disappointments and a real opportunity to put faith into action.

The story starts with Jairus running to Jesus, bringing him home to heal his daughter. Imagine you're Jairus. Your child is deathly ill. You run to the man who you believe is the only one who can help your daughter. That takes a lot of faith. And you bring the healing miracle man home. That's a massive leap of faith, because after all, he could be the psycho that everyone is saying he is.

Jairus was a man of faith, a devout Jew, the leader of a local synagogue. He would've lived a life above reproach. He would've followed the Law to the enth degree. He was a leader, respected and well-liked in his community. He would've worked hard to support his family, giving them his best.

Put yourself in Jairus' shoes. Or sandals. Just when he thought he had some hope. He had this Jesus coming to his home. People were saying he was the Messiah. Others were saying he was a prophet. Others also were saying he was just a good man. But whoever people claimed him to be, his miracles and healings were enough proof that this Jesus was sent from God.

So Jairus let hope swell in his soul. His daughter was going to be okay, Jesus would heal her. His steps were quick, almost a run, so desperate to get Jesus to his daughter. When on the way, a woman reached out and touched Jesus.

And she was healed.

Jesus stopped and addressed the woman and declared that her faith had made her well. Yes, Jairus was onto the right man. Jesus was healing people left, right and centre! And he had faith. He had come all this way to get Jesus and bring him home. Yes, Jairus had faith.

They began on their journey again after Jesus had stopped with the woman and her healing. Jairus would've been feeling confident. Yes, this Jesus could heal his daughter! He'd just healed a woman who'd been sick for over a decade! Surely his daughter would be fine. But then, he gets hit with the news.

Your daughter is dead.

Here is the part where the swelling violins starts, the tears start rolling down Jairus' cheek, running into his beard. Sobs well up from the pit of his stomach and then... gut-wrenching sobs, the kind that suck the breath out of you and take a massive effort to fill your lungs up again.

In this moment, imagine his thoughts. 'But I had faith!', 'This Jesus cant really heal', 'If Jesus hadn't stopped with that other unclean woman my daughter would still be alive'. All of this and more, travelling through his mind at the speed of thought. Sorrow for his child, the desperate emptiness of hopelessness and disappointment, anger.

And then Jesus says those most hated words: 'Just trust me'. Yeah right Jesus. Like I'm going to trust you now after you've just let my daughter die. I don't trust you as far as I could throw you. You've just let me down. You gave me a glimmer of hope and now, nothing. Nada. Zip. Thanks for nothing big guy.

I wouldn't blame Jairus for parting ways with Jesus. Everything in his fleshly soul would've wanted him to reject the hope of Jesus for the disappointment in the here and now. Think about times of heightened emotion, maybe when you didn't get that dream job. And you get that all-too-familiar rejection email. And Jesus says 'Just trust me'. That salesman lingo doesn't go down easy at first.

But, all credit to Jairus. He kept going on the journey with Jesus. He didn't part ways, but stayed with him all the way to the destination. He trusted Jesus. He chose faith. Just when he thought he had faith before in fetching Jesus in the first place, his faith is tested and stretched in an unimaginable way.

And his faith allowed a miracle to happen.

His daughter was only sleeping! Now, I'm not a parent, but I'm pretty sure I know the difference between a sleeping child and a not-alive child. It's not like Jairus and his wife would've just stood at a distance to determine if their daughter was alive or not. They would've shaken her, shouted and tried to wake her.

But Jesus, in his Jesus-like way, said she was only sleeping. And he was right. Even if she was in a very, very, very deep sleep, she still woke up and started walking around.

What an awesome story. Imagine if Jairus had parted ways with Jesus earlier. Imagine if Jairus had chosen not to trust? He would've stopped reading the book halfway through and not realised the ending, which was exactly what he was after.

My desire? To trust Jesus when he says 'Just trust me'. He does know the end of the story, after all.

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