She was a lovely woman, even in death. He could tell from looking at her that the stories the widows told were true. Her laugh lines, her slight smile still present as she lay there. Peter imagined that if he could see her eyes he would see a compassion and love that would remind him of his friend. He had walked all day from Lydda to get to the Mediterranean town. Even from several miles away he could smell the salt in the air and feel the warm ocean breeze. Joppa was definitely a town he could get used to.
He had barely been in Lydda a few days when the two men found him. The look in their eyes said it all. He had seen the look so many times before – that look of utter despair and loss; that look of someone with hope and yet afraid to hope; faith and yet afraid to admit what they believed possible. He had seen the look many times recently, but mostly he remembered how many times he saw that look when people ran to his master years ago.
When he reached the home, he was struck with the genuine love that the townsfolk had for this woman. More than that, he was struck by the love that this woman seemed to have had for all of them. She never asked how they got into the situations they found themselves. She never sent them away. She never acted like talking to them was beneath her and should be viewed as a very gift in itself. She loved them all. She listened to their stories. She laughed and cried with them. She served them to the day she died. Peter looked at her and at the widows who were weeping, not because they had lost a source of income but because they had lost a friend.
He asked again what her name was, and had they not been weeping they would have heard his gasp. He asked everyone to leave him in the room alone with her. Shutting the door to assure his privacy, Peter burst out laughing and weeping at the same time. Oh, how he missed his master, his friend, his beloved Savior. Who was he that Jesus would entrust him with carrying on this work that he had begun? He was nothing. The men in the temple were right. He was just a common fisherman from Galilee. But he had been changed. He had seen the Savior of the world. He had watched him live and care and love. He had sat under his patient instruction. He watched him die, and saw him alive again, and watched as he returned to his Father’s side. He remembered all of this. But more than these, remembered another warm day and he laughed. He remembered going with John and Jesus into a room where a little girl lay dead on a table. He remembered those simple words that Jesus spoke, “Talitha qum.” “Little girl, get up.”
Who was he to continue this work that his master had begun. He was humbled and amazed and emboldened by God’s grace and his master’s continued subtle sense of humor. He changed one letter. “Tabitha, qum!”