(Photo by Alexandria Grace Bowers and Edited by Selma Komisky)
By Alexandria Grace Bowers
“Let your dreams be bigger than your fears.”
On a wooden shelf in my bedroom, written in cursive, pink and gold lettering, resides this quote. It rests on the front of a foggy glass plaque, which dims the brightness of a tealight candle that sits right behind it.
It’s a simple sentence, one that I find myself staring at often. Every time I walk about my room and glide by those words, I stop to glance at them. To soak them in. To not run from them, but revel in them, instead. Let your dreams be bigger than your fears…
The truth is, to dream in a world that seems so overtaken and wickedly outmatched by nightmares, terrifies me. To open my eyes and tune my ears into the troubles of this sorrowful planet and use my imagination to bring solutions to the infestation of hurt and horror, is no easy task.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about. Maybe you don’t.
But if you’re anything like me, an adult who is continually afraid of what she desires—to chase after her dreams—then I have a saying for you. Something profound Jesus said, long ago, to coax a little girl out of a deep, possibly dreamlike sleep into a reality where her aspirations would perhaps have taken a laborious ability of pursuit.
Talitha koum. It’s an Aramaic phrase the translates to “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”
It means to awaken.
In the Gospels (Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-43, Luke 8:40-56), it’s recorded that this little girl was the daughter of an influential man named Jairus, who ruled in a synagogue at Capernaum. Jesus had just crossed the Sea of Galilee when Jairus came and begged the Jesus to heal his dying child. Jesus agreed, but due to the intense crowds, Jesus arrived “too late,” as many thought, for they were weeping and wailing for the dead girl upon His arrival. Yet, Jesus said these words to the mourning faces stricken with tears: “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” Mocking laughter soon turned to amazement at Jesus’ miracle, for with a small touch of His hand the twelve-year-old girl woke up and began to walk. At the words Talitha koum, the child went from death to life.
Though this phrase was affectionately poured over a sweet girl, centuries ago, I have this conviction in my heart that beckons me to believe that Talitha koum is a saying the Son of God still speaks over all of us today. And in believing so, I had the urge to tell all of you dreamers out there, whether male or female, that God wants to restore the little boy or girl within you, the child with an innocent trust and a pure imagination. Those that believe they have the wings of eagles on their backs and can race barefoot through green fields, like rushing, bending rivers without fear of ever becoming faint (Isaiah 40:31). Unafraid and unashamed to trust, and taste and see that the Lord is good in spite of much suffering (Psalm 34:8). Those who dare to pray big prayers that move mountains and have the courage to conquer giants with simple stones.
If you’re a dreamer who’s asleep, I pray that Talitha koum rouses you to awaken. If you’re a dreamer who’s awake and afraid, I hope with all my heart and might that you take Jesus’s words and use them to help you arise fearless.
Dreamers, this world, filled with people attacked and trampled by nightmares, needs you to encourage and equip them. So get up and get out there! Talitha koum!