Ever since Sunday, I’ve been thinking about dear ole’ Doubting Thomas. Poor Thomas has gotten a bad rap for thousands of years for being a “doubter,” but I think he’s one of my favorite characters in Scripture because he doubts and he does so so honestly.

I have doubts. And I know others – deeply spiritual people – who, occasionally, have doubts. Does this mean that we are not truly believing in Christ? No, not necessarily. It just means that sometimes, we have questions and struggles. In other words, we’re blessedly human.

In thinking about the Gospel reading for Sunday (see below), I began pondering on Thomas’ request to touch Jesus’ wounds. I’ve also been thinking a lot about our own wounded-ness and the amazing fact that God works through and in spite of our wounds and brokenness to serve God’s will and bring about the kingdom in this world. That’s awesome!

But then I began thinking about whether or not we are really willing to reach out and touch the wounds of others – of those around us. Are we willing to come into contact with brokenness, hurt and pain to understand another’s story? Are we willing to sit with a homeless person and hear what they have experienced? Can we patiently journey with those who mourn or struggle with despair and be Christ to them? Dare we get close enough to extend our fingertips to believe and not doubt the injustice and suffering in this world – inequalities to which it is so easy to turn a blind eye?

God is calling us to reach out our hands and touch the wounds of the world – to not doubt or ignore the oppression, injustice and deplorable situations in our world. God is calling us to see the marks, the scars left on the souls of our brothers and sisters (only as they are willing to share them with us!) that we might walk with them and support them in the healing process.

Can we, like Thomas, encounter the wounds in ourselves and in others, and call out “My Lord and my God!” seeing the face of Christ in the world around us?

John 20:19-31
19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” 30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

© 2011. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.