SCREAMS JUST PAST THE CLOSED DOOR enrage the senses. Her airy, linen clothes cling to her body as the sticky afternoon heat settles; even the slight breezes have left alone the sands of the street below. Anguish mixed with despair threatens to spill out of the compound.
Then, He enters. Stirring up the street sand, He strides through the corridors, every footstep echoing hope, the antithesis of despair. As the door to her room swings open, light illuminates the dim space, and eyes are drawn to her motionless body. She appears asleep, except for the lack of breath exiting her lips.
“Talitha cumi,” He whispers commandingly.
How often lately have you felt so overwhelmed that even though you’re accomplishing the tasks necessary for survival, your soul is shriveling and your heart is rotting? You may get up, feed the kids, go to work, feed yourself (maybe), come home, and go to bed despairing—but too weary to even cry.
Your focus is nonexistent; you can’t even sit through a 20-minute sermon without your mind wandering. You used to feel things: joy, hurt, anger, excitement. Now you feel nothing; you completely lack emotion. If you could muster up the motivation to actually care, you’d realize that feeling something—even if it is a broken feeling—is better than this toxic nothingness. It’s been so long since you felt like love was made for you that if you tried it on, it might not even fit anymore.
You self-medicate with even more mind-numbing habits, unconsciously flinging yourself further into this blank desert of nonexistence. You appear at peace to those around you, but the struggle for life hides just under your superficial calm. You’re not ready to die, but you’ve forgotten how to live.
Then, He enters. “Talitha cumi,” He whispers commandingly. A language you don’t know, words long forgotten, but the way He says it makes your throat tickle and your fingertips tingle.
“Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
“Arise and depart, for this is not your rest; because it is defiled, it shall destroy; yes, with utter destruction.”
Quietly, her eyes pop open. Her mother’s breath catches. She pulls herself up to sit on the side of the bed, color flooding her youthful cheeks. The event is not accompanied with a loud, earthshattering noise or camera flashes or Facebook announcements. The wailing outside fades. She glances around the room, confused, then rubs her stomach with the sudden realization that it’s been a long time since she felt this hungry. “Feed her!” He bids, grinning at her family.
“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord” (Lamentations 2:19, NKJV).
“Arise and depart, for this is not your rest; because it is defiled, it shall destroy; yes, with utter destruction” (Micah 2:10, NKJV). “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!” (Song of Solomon 2:13, NKJV).
“Shake yourself from the dust, arise; sit down. . . . Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!” (Isaiah 52:2, NKJV).
“Little girl, I say to you, arise.” He sees the little girl trapped in your heart, dear one. He knows the numbness you feel. He comprehends how hungry you are for understanding, for a life of meaning, for love. And in this beautiful love letter to you, He has said, “Pour out your heart like water” to Me! “Arise and depart: for this is not your rest.”
He knows that even when you sleep, you’re not getting the rest you need. He sees how tired your heart is. He calls you “my love” and “my fair one.” When was the last time you truly felt like His fair one? This is how He really sees you. “Shake yourself from the dust. . . . Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck.” He wants nothing more than for you to be free. Free to feel, free to hope, free to love as freely as He loves you, despite the broken, lost love of your past.
He is ready to resurrect your heart, sweet mama. His words to you, then and now, continue to be, “Talitha cumi. Little girl, arise.”