One weekday morning in Hawaii, I was walking down the hill for a long walk to have breakfast in the downtown by myself. It was going to be a 30 minute walk in the glorious Hawaiian sun light. I was off from work that day, a free woman with no care in the world. I still remember how happy I felt that day.
My long ponytail was freely hanging on top of my head, dancing to my casual steps so light and joyful to suit my mood. I could see the ocean in the near distance as I was walking down the hill, and on the top of that hill in the neighborhood, I felt like the queen, the conquer, the winner!
Just then, I saw a school bus driving up the hill, and waiting in stop as the driver loaded the elementary students in the bus. After it picked up the last small child in line, the driver closed the door, and drove up. Then, to my surprise, the yellow school bus stopped and opened the door as I was walking by. It took a second for me to register the intention of the driver.
When I was young, my whole family called me ‘peanut’. Even now, my aunt and uncles call me by that name. Good thing they live in Korea. I was born swimming in the genetic pool of the small people, and I was always one of the smallest kids in the class. I still look like a little girl, and what’s worse, I sound like one, too.
So, when I heard today’s Gospel at the morning mass today, I took every word to my heart.
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her,“Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. (Mark 5)
Thank God I was off from work today because I so needed to hear those words. It was nothing like that Hawaiian morning with some snow still visible on the side of the road and I was chilled to my bones. My mood was not flighty like that morning. It was rather… sane. I was sensible, and calm. No school bus stopped to pick me up. Actually, I stopped for the school bus while the bus was loading the students. I felt so grown up.
Yet, inside, there I was, the little girl, so eager to wake up, so eager to be enlightened. At those Words of Jesus “Little girl, Arise.” being spoken through the lips of the deacon, the little girl in me arose, joyfully, remembering how God sees me, how he has made me, how he has planned me. I am His little girl. That reminder this morning made me feel so… timeless.
As I was driving the car, I unloaded my unexplainable fear, worry and anxiety that have been creeping up again in the heart of this little girl in me lately. I can’t help but fear, it’s all I know. I grew up in fear all my life. Before I knew it, I was begging for forgiveness for my unbelief. In my mind, I am restlessly uttering, like a gibberish maniac. I want to trust You so much. Help me to trust in You with no trace of fear. I went on and on. And then, Jesus suddenly silenced the storm brewing fast. He silenced my busy mind, with just few words. Again, from the Gospel of Mark from today’s readings.
“Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
In awe of His masterful ability to arise me and then calm me down all in just one single hour, I silently drove home, feeling complete peace and uncontainable love all at once.
~ ~ ~
“…As I was diving underwater one day, I met the most beautiful child.He will be in space, I thought. I will paint him and through him I will share my own story and vision… I later found out that I’d called the painting Journey for a reason, because the painting was lost and after a long time miraculously was found on the other side of the world…”
“From universe to universe
I jump alone
Just to find out
that I am still a child”
– excerpt from the poem by Akiane Kramarik