Friday Thoughts: Man in the Mirror

Man_of_Sorrows_by_Aelbrecht_Bouts,_mid_1490s_-_Fogg_Art_Museum_-_DSC02361.jpg

Aelbrecht Bouts, “Man of Sorrows”, (mid 1490s)

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Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

—John 20:27-28

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How we look at the apostle Thomas with faithless envy. How we secretly confess: “Well of course you believe, now. After the risen Christ appears and guides your fingers into His wounds.”

And yet, we stand next to Thomas. We have the wounds of Christ right next to us, within arm’s reach. In fact, they are closer to us than they were to Thomas. The wounds of Christ are closer to us than we are to ourselves. They are not only upon us, they are within us.

We too can reach in if we dare, Christ certainly welcomes it. Go ahead, probe the wounds God’s permissive will allows. Share in the Cross, participate, cooperate. Touch your palms, feel your side. Bring your wounds to His, line them up to His, as if approaching a mirror, with the perfectly-wounded, fully-healed Christ approaching from the other side. Hand to hand, foot to foot, pierced side to pierced side, do we dare turn around and match our numerous stripes to those of the risen Christ? Get really close and examine the thousand pricks upon your matching brows. We are free to. We are also free to confess, by default, a profession of conquered disbelief, that baffles even those brought face-to-face with the wounded, risen, Christ Jesus: “My Lord and my God!”

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“But if we are children, we are heirs as well: heirs of God, heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so as to be glorified with him.”

—Romans 8:17

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—Howard Hain

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