I just wanted to put this blog post in the context in which I find myself. It is early on Wednesday morning and I am waiting in an airport at JFK for my flight to San Juan which I was not able to make last night because my flight was delayed out of Philly. Last night did not go at all as planned. I put up a bit of a stink because I did in fact make the gate in time, but they had already closed the gate…early. As a result I got some meal tickets, taxi vouchers, and free night stay at the Crown Plaza. These are all nice things, but I would much rather be in Puerto Rico right now with my brothers.
Driving to the hotel last night I got into a conversation with the taxi driver. I almost felt embarrassed telling him about my predicament and why I found myself in the situation where I was frustrated and angry with the airport. Here was someone who may not be able to even imagine what a trip to Puerto Rico to play golf would look like. At one point I said: I’m disappointed, but there are worse things that happen in the world. “True that!” He replied approvingly. The acute disparity between us was painful, and not being able to go on vacation on time made me feel like a spoiled child who was upset over something incredibly insignificant.
In the stories we have today in our Scripture we find people who have incredibly significant issues, and yet they are demure and humbly approach the Savior asking if he could do something for them. There is no sense of entitlement and certainly no sense that they deserve to have anything done for them. The man who has the demons driven out of him asks Jesus to leave him. He calls him Son of the Most High. Not even the disciples find themselves with that understanding. The healing of Jairus’ daughter finds someone that we would call a pastor asking Jesus to come to his house while he was not worthy to even approach him. The woman healed from the issue of blood falls at Jesus’ feet admitting to everyone her plight and how Jesus was able to heal her. All of these issues are far more important and are absolutely life changing compared to a missed flight. It is humbling sitting here in NYC to realize how petty we can be at times with our thoughts and actions.
I want to focus on vs. 55 where we read that “her spirit returned”. We must remember that the word for spirit in Greek is pneuma. It is the root of the words that we use in English such as pneumatic. It literally means breath or wind or air. So if we were to read this verse literally it would read: “her breath returned”. There is a physical component to this healing story that is missed if we just say that her “spirit” returns. It also leaves us with a false sense of understanding as to what happens to us once we die. When we die our spirit does not hover around in the air for an undisclosed amount of time. Rather, our spirit and our resurrected body immediately go to our savior Jesus Christ. So when we read that this girl’s spirit returns we must interpret that as her breath comes back. She gets her second wind so to speak.