It’s not dead…

Written by Toby Hedgepeth
Photo by Andy Wang on Unsplash

Scripture: Luke 8:49-52 – While He (Jesus) was still speaking, someone came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble The Teacher any longer.” When Jesus heard this, he replied, “Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.” When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter, John, and James, and the child’s father and mother. They were all weeping and wailing for her; but He said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.”


Reflection: Sometimes the messages I get from God are obvious – other times not so much. Recently, I had one of those obvious moments. I was walking with a co-worker one Friday morning and as we were walking, through the halls of Duke, we came to an area that was floor to ceiling windows. It was a very beautiful day and our eyes were easily drawn outside. As we moved closer to the window, my co-worker said, “What’s that?” I saw it, it just looked like a ball of something laying on the ground but, at closer look, we realized it was a bird – laying on its back – and the bird appeared to be taking its last breath. First I thought a light wind was blowing the bird but then I thought maybe its chest was moving. But even if it wasn’t dead, I thought to myself it will be dead very soon!”

We guessed that the bird flew into the window. Google says that birds usually fly into windows because they see a reflection of the sky or trees, instead of a pane of glass; they think they have a clear flight path. And I learned, according to a 2014 study, that up to one billion birds die from window strikes each year. The odds were not in this bird’s favor. I knew it was too late for the bird to be saved – and I knew it would probably be dead when we came back from our walk.

Fast forward about 10 minutes later, as we started back around the windowed hall, out of the corner of my eye I saw a bird fly past, and it brought my mind back to the little bird. Then I noticed two gentlemen, who had also seen the bird laying on the ground, coming in from outside…and I noticed the bird was no longer on the ground. I looked up at one of the men and I asked, “Did the bird fly away”. His response was “Yes, I just had to turn it over.”

I immediately heard God speaking to me through those words!

I guess I could have turned the bird over – but I didn’t because I thought it was dead. I guess I could have gone outside and taken a closer look – but I didn’t because I thought it was dead.

Those men had the exact same view as I had – and yet, they saw something different. Where I saw death, they saw life. Where I saw the end, they saw a new beginning. And I ask myself this question…why did something with life still in it appear dead to me?

This also made me wonder how many times I’ve moved on from passions, dreams, callings, people – things I thought to be dead, but they just needed to be turned over. How many things have we abandoned in our lives, based on our perception of what life looks like – but we realize in the starting verses, that perception is not always the truth! The hunger just needed to be fed. The dream just needed to be re-imagined. The check engine light just needed to be…well, checked. But you get my point, right?

I want you to consider today – and throughout this week – those things you desire Jesus to bring back to life for you. What can be restored in your life – or the lives of those you love – what things have you called dead? Don’t let the enemy convince you that what you have worked so hard for is no more! Will you let Yahweh breathe upon those dead things, so they can live? Restoration is coming – and I dare you to start seeking and believing God for it? Don’t spend another moment crying over something that is merely sleeping! God has not changed – and He is able now – just as He was then – to show you His perfect power.


Prayer: God of my ancestors, thank You for seeing things as they truly are. Thank You for helping me to see those things that are not dead – only sleeping. Help me to see past my feelings and my own understanding, to see what You see. Even if there is a glimmer of life in something I am walking away from, reveal it to me so I can nurture it. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.