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When You Just Can’t Raise the Dead

Having worked at my computer for what seemed like many hours, I came upstairs expecting a breather. What I heard though could have easily taken my breath away.

“She’s dead,” my little five year old Jonah told me with much seriousness, “but don’t worry, she’ll come back again.”

Standing over his little sister (who did indeed looked dead), Jonah stretched out his arms and then said with much confidence, “Sophia get up.” You see, Jonah was having a busy morning. Up to that point I was told, he had cast out many demons, he had preached many sermons on many mountains of pillows, and yes, he had even been known to raise a brother or two from the dead.

But now as I watched, this little girl of very few pounds seemed more difficult to raise than anything an apostle had ever had to deal with.

Closing her eyes even tighter at his words, and stiffening her body all the more, my three year old had decided that sometimes death is to be preferred to the joys of life. In the meantime Jonah was becoming quite agitated.

“Sophia, get up!” Jonah now said with much annoyance. “Not yet,” came the equally annoyed and determined reply.

It was then that I believe Jonah had come to a realization, one that you and I have had many times: sometimes people want to stay dead.

No amount of preaching. No amount of fasting. No action on love’s behalf can take away the freedom of the other to choose. And if some people really do want to remain dead in sin, there is only one thing you can do. Give them over to God and let go of the guilt, you have done your part. In the hands of the divine physician, there is hope for them yet; after all, resurrection is His specialty.

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