I’m a tactile person, I like hugs, I like my hands to be held, I like to touch my hair when I’m talking, I love sharing the peace with people, I love feeling the warmth of others.
Touch can seal the deal when making new relationships, whether that is shaking hands, hugging, a kiss, or a shoulder pat.
However sometimes we have to believe that the relationships that we make and have are real without anything tangible happening. The story of Thomas and his doubting of Jesus’ resurrection is one of my favourites.
I know myself I have been slow to believe that something is real because I have not seen it or been able to touch it. Putting your faith into something that cannot be “felt” is risky on the heart and on the mind.
Jesus appears to the other disciples first who are locked away in fear and in hiding. He comes to them, shares His peace and shows them His wounds. I feel like in this place of fear and anxiety, that Jesus appears right in the middle of it all by showing them the wounds that he has got. This moment is a meeting together of wounds, the fear of the disciples and the damage they have felt to their hearts over the brutality of Jesus’ death and the physical wounds that Jesus bore for them.
The disciples are lifted and healed from their fear by Jesus’ appearance. Thomas has yet to feel that healing and expresses his doubts clearly and frankly even when the other disciples say to him that they have seen the Lord.
How can Thomas let his heart dare to believe that Jesus is actually alive?!
How can he allow his heart to feel the light footsteps of hope dance inside of him bouncing off every part of him like fire filled fireworks?
Thomas needs to be able to reach out and touch Jesus, to feel His wounds, to help the wounds inside of himself meet with Jesus’ wounds.
There is something powerful about how Jesus’ wounds can meet with our own, palm to palm, foot to foot, side to side.
How many times have we felt that we are so wounded that we are beyond any help, yet here in the middle of doubt Jesus gently takes Thomas’ hand and says “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side”.
Such trust and love is sealed in the pierced palms of Jesus, he says do not doubt, just believe. Perhaps these are the words we all need to hear when we are tentative to reach out and show Jesus our wounds and let Him show us His.
Through all of this it’s the exclamation of faith that seals the deal on the relationship between Thomas and Jesus. It’s not just the touch, it’s the love that pours out from the wounds that poured out His blood on the cross.
Thomas’ expression of love and the realisation that he could dare to let his heart believe that Jesus is alive, is beautiful,
“My Lord and my God”
Reach out, put your hand into His, do not doubt, just believe.