Mark 5:42

The little girl stood up at once, and began to walk about; for she was twelve years old. And, as soon as they saw it, they were overwhelmed with amazement;


she walks around dazed
as uncertain as new sight
confused about people and trees

a sleepwalker pleases us nonetheless
even as any between-state scares us
better than a zombie but still disturbing

amazement at a moment of quickening
hopes and fears jostle with one another
until one mostly settles into our life

one such occurrence can last a lifetime
what are we to do with so many surprises
coming our way overwhelming our day


This verse is doubly Markan with two, count them, two “euthys” (immediatelies). To return to Swanson’s translation: “BANG the little girl rose and walked around (she was, after all, twelve years old). BANG: ecstasy beyond ecstasy.”

The girl (or, depening on perspective, young woman) had been invited to rise. In less than a heartbeat, she rose.

With a healing claimed or grabbed by an older woman and requested on behalf of a young woman we are reminded that there are no formulas for healing. Is healing connected with the faith of the person in need of a healing, the need of a community for a tangible sign in their midst, the loosing of power on its own terms, or just because. Whatever the circumstance it seems clear that magical words in another language is not at the heart of healing. Sometimes just a declaration (“Take up your mat.”) or the gentle taking of a hand while softly crooning a lullaby will do—

O little one, precious young one, we bid you rise.
Come back to us from dreams afar, we bid you rise.
Join in this song sung just for you, we bid you rise.
Help us extend this song to all, we bid you rise.

When this daughter rose (to dance?), those present are described as amazed, astonished, overjoyed, shocked, or surprised. Merriam-Webster gives a derivation of the Greek ἔκστασις (ekstasis): “from existanai to derange, from ex- out + histanai to cause to stand”. With an invitation to rise accepted, “ecstasy” is a preferred descriptor here. Barnstone161 holds both, “They were amazed and in great ecstasy.”

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