Thomas Speaks

John 20:19-31

What would you have done?
We all had heard Magdalene’s crazy tale,
but even after all the Master’s assurances,
fear seized us.
My brothers and sisters shivering behind locked doors,
while I was out in the streets and the garden
looking for our risen Lord, hoping
to see him kneeling in some thicket,
speaking to God like a child speaks to his mother.
Why they should be more afraid of a missing corpse
than of the horrors of Golgotha I cannot say.
I was looking for him,
looking, and scattering the resurrection news like seed.

I was the only one looking, hoping,
and yet the only one to not be found by him that night.
And so I missed his murmured “peace,”
his outpouring of Spirit and commission:
“Your forgiveness of sins forgives them;
your holding fast to someone holds them fast.”
But God knows we clung to each other in our grief,
and the whole town was muttering–
you could feel the rising fear lapping
at the foundations of our house.

An octave of days passed,
and this time I heard the melody of his voice
offering peace once more.
I was like a man parched with thirst
offered sweet, cool spring water.
My mind whirled.
And so I confessed:
“Lord, I cannot be sure that it is you
Unless I myself see the wounds you bear.”
And touching them, I was able
to find my place on the map of the good news.

Scars are proof of life and proof of God’s love.
The healing power of overcoming those wounds
make us who we truly are:
bearers of the image of Jesus,
the One who does wonders in our lives
by loving us, scars and all.
And with that promised peace,
holding each other fast in mercy and grace,
the world is changed.
And so I believe.

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