A Mother Rejoices
The sad mourning procession moved slowly toward the gates of the city of Naim. The only son of Thamar, a poor widow, lay dead on the bier, and his mother sobbed bitterly as she walked behind it, leaning heavily on the arm of her friend Judith.
Judith could find nothing to say that would relieve the wretchedness of the grief-stricken mother. “If only I–or someone–could comfort her,” she thought helplessly. “Now she is left completely alone in the world; she has lost everyone!” But all Judith could despite her sympathy was to tighten her arm around her friend.
As they were leaving the gates of the city to make their way to the newly-hewn rock sepulcher on the hillside, they met another procession entering the city. This one was happy and joyful. It was composed of people who crowded about a Man in their midst, each one of them striving to get as near to Him as possible. And it was no wonder that they were so eager to do this, for His face was so full of understanding and love that even the weeping Thamar stooped to look at Him.
Judith recognized Him immediately: it was Jesus, the Teacher and Miracle-Worker about Whom everyone was talking.
Jesus caught sight of Thamar and Judith and their friends. Noticing the bier at the head of their procession, He came immediately to Thamar.
“Do not weep,” He said kindly.
Three simple words, but they flooded Thamar’s heart with peace and hope. And then, before she or Judith could even realize wahat was happening, He had gone ahead and was standing beside the bier. The carriers, as if in response to a command, at once set it on the ground.
“Young man, I say to you, arise!” These were the words that Jesus spoke to the dead youth lying before Him.
Breathlessly the people watched. Thamar’s son slowly rose from the bier. His eyes went from face to face in the crowd until they fell upon Jesus.
Somehow Thamar’s son knew it was Jesus Who had raised him from death. Quietly and humbly he knelt down, unable to say anything but, “Master, I thank You.”
Jesus smiled lovingly, and taking the young man’s hand, led him to his mother.
Again Thamar wept, but this time with tears of joy. Judith and the other mourners crowded in glad excitement around the reunited mother and son.
An instant later, Thamar turned to thank Jesus. But He was gone: He had silently withdrawn to His own group and with them had already entered the city.
Reverence filled Thamar and her friends. Looking up toward heaven they said aloud a prayer of thanks and of praise.
“A great Prophet has indeed risen up among us,” murmured Judith, when the prayer was finished.
“Surely God has visited His people,” responded Thamar.