Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
~ John 20:27
Her hands were small, and still wet from having just washed them. I had spent the last thirty minutes watching her gently massaging the hands of her husband who can no longer hold his hands out. They remain contracted due to his illness.
"They used to be so strong," she said as she began to cry. "When we came to this country we worked very hard, night and day. They were so strong, and when I would get discouraged, he would wrap not just his hands, but his arms around me."
Have you ever looked upon the hands of someone who has been wounded? While they may bear the scars, they also hold the battle.
As I took her hands in mine, and began to pray, her tears washed over both of our hands.
I imagine that there were tears as Thomas looked at the hands of Jesus. The reminder of the struggle, the pain, and the surrender. The torn flesh, and the resurrection. Two images that we rarely coincide with one another, but it is the powerful image of the risen Christ.
That while we all may struggle with our own daily battles, the ressurected Christ remains alive in us. Today we serve as a reminder to one another of woundedness and the resurrection.
While we my need to see the resurrected hands of Christ to believe, for many, the need to hold those hands in the hands of those who are broken hearted, leaves us wanting to reach out to one another.
As I finished my prayer, and as she hugged me and cried, I understood more closely the compassion of Christ to be vulnerable enough, that even before ascending, needing to share that he understood what it meant to be wounded, and the need for others to believe!
In our woundedness Christ lives!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.