Recognition

Two hands holding each other strongly Premium Vector
Two hands holding each other strongly. Public domain.

This poem was commissioned by Northminster Presbyterian Church in Endwell, New York.

When Jesus stood in front of Thomas
to present his wounded hands and side,
I wonder,
Did Thomas quickly move his gaze
from the marks of trauma
to look straight into Jesus’ eyes?

Did he hold the hand of God,
marked,
nailed,
disabled, fully human, alive,
and look straight into the eyes of Love?

How much recognition could one eye-to-eye gaze hold?
How much memory?
How much time?

As they looked at one another,
in only an instant,
I wonder,
Did the whole story flash into recognition?

Did he see Galilee once more?
Did he see Love anew?

Did he glimpse his own suffering? —
stories we’ve never heard before —
Thomas, struggling,
Thomas, wounded,
Thomas, undone,
yet
in this moment,
made whole,
knowing that resurrection holds
pain,
grief,
trauma,
disability,
and even death,

That God holds humanity,
all of it,
Fully Alive,
With Us,
One of Us.

Renee Roederer

2 thoughts on “Recognition

    1. Thank you. Nancy Eiseland’s perspectives in “The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability” have also greatly impacted my interpretation of this passage. A God with wounds proclaims that people with wounds, disability, and trauma are fully human — and no less human because of these experiences and identities.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s