Suffering On The Sidelines

Lou Lotz

READ : Mark 5:21-24, 35-43

What a touching scene. Jairus flops at the feet of Jesus and begs him to come and heal his little daughter. “Come and lay your hands on her,” he pleads, “that she may be made well, and live.” Jesus shrugs off a report that the girl has already died and proceeds to her bedside. At his command, she awakes, hops out of bed, and walks around.

How agonizing it is when a loved one is suffering, and all you can do is stand on the sidelines, helpless, and watch. Think of all the people who could say: “Lord, my child is sick or my spouse, or my parents, or my brother or sister please come and put your hand on them and heal them, that they may live.”

We all take a turn on the sidelines, agonizing over a loved one’s suffering. Sometimes our prayers for healing are answered. Sometimes not. But in either event, God stands with us on the sidelines.

Discussion: When parents who have lost a child read the Jairus’ story, how do you think they react to it? What is the story’s meaning for them? What is its meaning for you?


Almighty God, who knows what it feels like to watch a child suffer, draw near to all those who agonize over the suffering of a loved one. Amen.