A long line of cars followed as I turned off the freeway. I imagine many of the drivers were, like me, just wanting to get home after a day at work. Turning left, there wasn’t much time for the cars to space out the distance between them before the next intersection and it’s red light.
A few yards from the limit line the light turned green and I took my foot off the brake pedal. Then I put it back on. Hard. The huge pick-up truck in my rearview mirror, hauling a trailer full of landscaping equipment, looked like it might not stop in time to avoid smashing into my bumper. I braced for impact.
The driver of the pick-up truck and the drivers of all the cars lined up behind him couldn’t see what I saw. If they had, I don’t know if they’d have refrained from honking their horns at me or not. But I’m glad that’s all any of us had to endure, just some horn honking. No one ran into anyone’s bumper.
What caused me to stop suddenly at an intersection with a green light? One of these:
In the middle of this:
The kitten came from the median to my left and ran in front of me. I braked and lost sight of it as it disappeared squarely under my front bumper.
While I waited for the impact coming from the truck behind me I started planning how to jump out and get the kitten from under my car. I didn’t know whether I could do it without someone running me over, and I didn’t know how to do it without spooking the kitten back into traffic.
As I was about to shove the gearstick into park and reach for the door handle I looked to my right. There was the kitten, scurrying to the sidewalk and into the shrubs bordering an office park.
I took my foot off the brake and drove on. The whole thing lasted about 10 seconds. I don’t know what the people behind me were thinking.
I think some people in Galilee a couple thousand years ago might have had a similar experience.
“Watch it! You stepped on my foot.”
“Sorry. Why’d you stop?”
“Everybody stopped. Don’t know what’s going on.”
“Maybe it’s because of that woman who just went by. She didn’t look too good, but she was moving pretty fast for a sick woman. Maybe she wanted to get close to him. Can you see him?”
“He’s up there.”
“Did you hear that?”
“He asked who touched him. Everybody’s touching everybody in this crowd.”
“It’s the woman.”
“The sick woman? What does she want? Doesn’t she know he’s going to Jairus’ house?”
“I don’t think she stopped him. It’s more like he stopped for her.”
“What’s he saying now?”
“Something about her having faith and being healed. And being his ‘daughter’? She’s old enough to be his mother.”
“She looks better now, anyway.”
“Lots better. Well, she’s gone. Looks like he’s going on to see Jairus’ daughter. Hope he can do something for that poor little girl.”
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?”
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. (Mark 5:35-36, 41-42.)