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,
Did Thomas quickly move his gaze
from the marks of trauma
to look straight into Jesus’ eyes?
Did he hold the hand of God,
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,
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 —
in this moment,
knowing that resurrection holds
and even death,
That God holds humanity,
all of it,
One of Us.
2 thoughts on “Recognition”
I’ve always loved this story, but you’ve added so many dimensions to it. Thank you!
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.