by Lauren N. Simmons
My day begins much like any other. My head pulses with pain on waking. My stomach is nauseous, signaling the vomiting that will no doubt come soon. Since the blindness has fallen on my eyes, I don’t sleep well anymore. A dizzy drowsiness is my constant companion during the days, where I can do nothing more than lie in my bed. My life has been like this for two years now.
I am 12 and old enough to be considered a woman now. I long for the day when my parents will announce that they have found my husband. Each day that passes, I am more aware that will never happen.
A new sensation takes hold of my body. “Ima!” I scream for my mother, as my muscles jerk and twitch, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I can’t breathe anymore. I try to talk to Ima, but I struggle for air. I feel the struggle stop as I fall into a deep sleep.
I awake, and my sight is restored. But it is not what it used to be in my life before this sickness took over. I see only in black, white, and shades of gray. None of the different colors I remember from before. I get out of my bed, and I can walk again. Slowly and tentatively at first, but then I run, laughing.
I burst out the door of our home. But I am not greeted by the town street I grew up on. I am greeted by… an ocean. I don’t know what to think at first. It’s just me and the ocean. Then I walk to the shoreline and dip my toes in the waters. In that instant, the waters turn from gray to beautiful blue, the first color I’ve seen in years. I sit on a rock and submerge my feet and legs. They haven’t been refreshed in so long. After a long while, I stand, and everything changes.
Again, this looks nothing like our neighborhood. Maybe it is even a different country, in a different time. The air has a chill in it and smells of earth, dirt, flowers. Grass grows everywhere, and a white fence hems in the property. The house is also white. It is a rectangle, with windows evenly placed, and two columns, one on each side of a well-centered door. A woman, wearing a scarf in her hair, bends over, tending her garden. “Hello, dear.”
“What are you doing?”
“Planting these bulbs before the ground freezes. That way I can watch these tulips bloom in the spring. Just as you will,” she smiles at me.
Before I can ask what she means, she disappears. But I still get to see the flowers slowly bloom. Their deep purple reveals itself. The only vivid hue, all else is still black, white, and grays. Purple was never a color I saw often when I was young. It was reserved for royalty. But now I just stand and wonder at its beauty.
It is not long before I am transported to another place and time. This place reminds me more of home—and yet it is not. This place is an explosion for the senses. Music fills the streets. I can taste the street food and spices from the market without putting anything in my mouth, their smell is so strong. For the first time in years, my stomach grumbles from hunger. A nearby street vendor hears and hands me a piece of bread. It is flat and in the shape of a circle. There is such a richness to everything here. A saree hangs in the next booth. I rub its silk between two of my fingers. People are throwing colored powder at one another. The powder lands on me, and in that moment, it is as if life has gone from black, white, and gray to all vibrant colors. Pink. Orange. Yellow. Green. Everything has color again. In all the chaos, I hear Someone whisper to me, “It is not your time yet.”
And then there is nothing but White Light, and it has a voice that calls out to me, “Little girl, get up!”
I open my eyes. I am back in my own room. And I truly can see again. A Man I have never met is holding my hand, and I follow His lead to stand. He commands that I be fed. I am starving, and the feeling causes me to realize I never thought I would be healed. All I can feel is gratitude.
“My lamb,” Abba says while cradling my head. He always calls me that, “lamb,” because that is the meaning of the name Rachel. My name.
I overhear the Man tell my parents, when they are alone, to tell no one. “Jairus,” He says to my Abba, “your faith has restored your daughter to you this day.”
I have always loved the story of the raising of Jairus’ daughter.
The ocean scene represents the fact that she will be healed, restored, and refreshed.
The garden scene is set in 1950s America, similar to The Twilight Zone. It represents that she will bloom and grow as she had wished.
The final “dream” sequence is set in India during the spring festival of Holi. It is a color festival, and it represents that she will get to experience all of the color—all of the good things life has to offer. Jesus didn’t just raise her from the dead and leave her be. He gave her an abundant life.
Records of Jairus’ daughter can be found in Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26, and Luke 8:40-56.
About the Writer
Lauren N. Simmons is a freelance writer who lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and daughter. Her work has appeared in various magazines and devotionals, including Cadet Quest, Deaf Devo, Focus on the Family (as a Hacks & Facts contributor), Keys for Kids, and Unlocked.
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Image is in the Public Domain. Modified by Veronica McDonald.