In the gospel of Mark chapter 5 a story is written about a day in the ministry of Jesus. On that day, Jesus is approached by a man whose daughter is dying, and although Jesus agrees to come help the child, before he makes his way through the crowd and to the girl’s sickbed, word reaches them that she has died. “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?” Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me” (vs 35 & 36). They proceed to the man’s home, push through the people who have gathered there, and this is what happens next:
But when he had sent them all out, he took the child’s father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child’s room. He clasped the girl’s hand and said, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, get up.” At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room. Then he said, “Give her something to eat (Mark 5:40-43).”
The Message (MSG)
We at Talitha Koum Ministries believe the body is made up of three parts: body, soul and spirit. We believe a truly healthy body is healthy in all three dimensions of experience. As artists, we have dedicated ourselves to using our talents to bring people to a place of overall health – physical, social, financial, and spiritual. As Christians, we are committed to living life according to Ephesians 5:1-2:
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behaviour from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
It is the goal of Talitha Koum Ministries to use the arts as a means of continuing the ministry of Christ, of promoting the overall and spiritual health of ourselves, those immediately around us, and the world as a whole, and of loving extravagantly through meeting and addressing the spiritual and tangible needs of people in our world. We are about waking those around us to the knowledge and reality that they are loved by a God who knows them intimately, loves them passionately, is accessible daily – a God who offers a better, fuller existence than can the individualism, narcissism and capitalism of the daily, too often soul-deadening grind of surviving life. We believe life is not about surviving, it is about thriving in the bodies we inhabit with all the variety of personalities and abilities which make each one of us unique and valuable. We believe part of thriving is learning to care passionately for the world around us, rather than merely living self-interested lives. In our individualistic post-industrial revolution societies, we often need to re-learn the art of caring for needs other than our own, and at Talitha Koum, part of our goal is to reawaken social awareness and compassion within individuals.
After awakening the little girl, Jesus ordered her fed. At Talitha Koum Ministries, we aim to offer spiritual and physical nourishment to those in need, and to support those ministries who have dedicated themselves to the same.
There is more to life then nothingness and greed and Californication – lust in all its forms. There is joy and peace and love and belonging and meaning, and they are found in Jesus. Little world – get up!
Leigh Macfarlane is the Director of Talitha Koum Ministries and the Executive Editor of Talitha Koum Magazine. Leigh possesses a BA in English Literature and a MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Creative Writing, both from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Leigh is a worship leader in her church, and is the creator of Life at the Beach Music Festival — a day of open-air Christian music, inspirational speaking, and worship held in the parks of Lake Country British Columbia. 2015 marks the third year for Life at the Beach Music.
As an author, Leigh has written the spiritual memoir Tailgate Church as well as several children’s books, the most recent being The Little Green Beetle Sing-Along Picture Book, initially written as a song which Leigh recorded and then turned into a self-illustrated children’s book. Leigh also has released four Christian CD’s, identity, Trusting You, Legacy, and Joy to the World, as well as the four-track Spanish language CD Amada. In January of 2015, Amada will be heading to Mexico as a project whose proceeds will benefit Mexican cancer patients whose financial realities leave them unable to procure treatment. Leigh is also mom to four excellent people, one yappy dog, an outdoor cat, and an adorable guinea pig. Leigh was five years old when she came to believe in Jesus and this began a relationship that was real and important – a relationship Leigh walked away from for many years as an adult. In 2010, after years of filling life with experiences which had no lasting meaning, men of no lasting relationship, and layers of empty self-indulgence, Leigh rededicated her life to God. The depth of joy and meaning which this decision has brought into her heart and life cannot be replicated elsewhere, and have left Leigh passionate about sharing the excellent news that God exists, He cares, and He wants to be part of your