Sunday, April 12, 2015
Blest am I
Thomas, who had not been present when Jesus appeared to the disciples just after His Resurrection, was skeptical. "'I will never believe it,' said he, 'without probing the nailprints in His hands, without putting my finger in the nailmarks and my hand into His side.' A week later, the disciples were once more in the room, and this time Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors, Jesus came and stood before them. 'Peace be with you,' He said; then, to Thomas: 'take your finger and examine My hands. Put your hand into My side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!' Thomas said in response, 'my Lord and my God!'" (John 20:25-29)
What strikes me most about this is Jesus' tender mercy to Thomas. There are no reprimands. Our Lord doesn't say "oh you of little faith, why do you doubt? You've got to exercise faith, Thomas! You can do it! Just make up your mind!"
No. Jesus simply offers Thomas the precise help he needs. He invites the disciple to probe and examine His sacred wounds. What an act of mercy! "Yes, it is I," He could be saying. "Come and see."
Thomas, as we know, cried out "my Lord and my God!" To which Jesus responded "You became a believer because you saw Me. Blest are they who have not seen and have believed."
Blest are you. Blest am I. We haven't had the privilege of probing Our Lord's wounds, yet we have believed. We've had other privileges. We have been given the gift of faith. Perhaps at times we've doubted God's love or even His reality, and maybe we've told Him this. I certainly did, years ago, when I said "God, I don’t believe in you, but if you’re real, and if you can hear me, I’m asking you to show me once and for all who or what you are." (the story of that can by found by clicking here). Years later, I still want to fall on my face in thanksgiving for Our Lord's response to my pleading. He gave me the precise help I needed, help that was tailor made for me, at that exact time.
I remember thinking, when I cried out to God that day, that maybe He would show up in the room so I could see Him. He did not do that. He even let me go on doubting for a tiny bit longer, but He did not leave me alone.
He led me not to probe His physical wounds, but to probe His scriptures. He drew me to examine and appreciate the truth of His Church. He let me experience not His nailprints, but His presence.
Thanks to His great mercy, I believe.
Blest am I.
Text not in quotes © 2015 Nancy Shuman
Painting: Carl Bloch, The Doubting Thomas