The Gift of Insight

a poetic reflection on Luke 8:40-56

“I won’t lie to you,” Jairus said,

as he reached for another grape

and took another sip of his drink.


“I was angry.  Really angry.

I was pouring my heart and soul out to Jesus.

I was begging–how does it look 

for the leader of the synagogue to beg?

and he just kind of let the crowd

push him away from me…

…and that’s when that unclean woman touched him.


“I keep the commandments best as I can!

I don’t want to brag,

but I really DO try to be righteous.

and then that unclean woman touched him.


“That’s when I got really incensed.

and then people I know find me and tell me

that my daughter is dead.

It was all a blur.


“But then somehow,

His attention focused back to me

and we went to my house…


…honestly, if I hadn’t seen it myself,

I wouldn’t have believed it.

My family isn’t made of fools,

they clearly thought she was dead.

He raised her from the dead–

That’s the only explanation I have.


“Yet–I guess I’m trying to deal with

that deep anger–that deep resentment–

that I had at first.

I keep wondering what this is all about.

Oh, I know part of it

is that my children mean everything to me.

I still have a hard time

that it felt like he slighted me

and that unclean woman grabbed onto him

and without even asking,

got her life back

when I was begging to get MY life back

through the healing of my child.”


He got up, poured himself another cool drink,

pulled out a plate of cheese,

cut himself a slice,

and slowly began munching on it.


“You know when I finally started to let go of that anger?

It was when my wife got back from the mikveh

a couple of weeks ago.

She always has this aura…

this glow…

when she comes back…

like a big weight has been lifted from her.

She tries so hard to be righteous too,

as the wife of the leader of the synagogue,

and yet she can’t help

what her body does to her every month.


“It made me think about that poor woman

with the hemorrhages.

For the entire length

of the life of my child,

She couldn’t experience

what my wife does every month,

and now she could.

I’ll never know what that feels like.

I’ll never have that burden 

that devout grown women carry.

I’ll certainly never know

what that woman must have felt like

when she returned from the mikvah

after twelve long years.


Then, he shifted in his chair 

and leaned forward towards me.


“I don’t think people really understand

this power that this Jesus fellow

seems to have,

and I don’t mean stuff like

healing the sick

or raising the dead.

He’s teaching us a new way to live

by seeing the world

through the eyes of those

that have less power

under the law.

“I’ve never thought about

what it’s like

to be a woman,

to live a woman’s life,

to suffer what women suffer with

all the time.
What do I know about being a woman?

I was only taught

to give prayers of thanks

that I wasn’t born one.

I don’t know what it’s like

to be a leper,

or a Samaritan,

or even a Roman centurion.


“But I can sure tell you

that I think about it now,

and I can’t totally explain it,

but it’s starting to change

the way I see the world.”

Maria Evans splits her week between being a pathologist and laboratory director in Kirksville, MO, and gratefully serving in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri , as Interim Priest at Trinity Episcopal Church in Hannibal, MO. 

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