We don’t talk about such things.
Every family has places where they know not to go – things that just aren’t discussed, alluded to, or even hinted at.
They are dark secrets that live in deep closets with thick silver padlocks. The keys are hidden as often as humanly possible.
We don’t talk about such things.
Then, invariably, we talk about such things.
They come out after too many holiday beverages, or in a fit of hurt and revenge, or as we have it out over issues that are far smaller in comparison.
Suddenly, the “thing” lies like a corpse in the middle of the room. Odorous. Obvious. We don’t want to look at it, but we can’t look away.
We are reminded why we don’t talk about such things.
In the story of Jesus, if we really put ourselves around the rough-hewn table with the disciples, it is difficult not to sympathize with Thomas.
Jesus died at the hands of people who were exceptionally thorough and precise in the act of execution. There was no mistake, no coming back from crucifixion.
Thomas may have even thought: Jesus said He’d beat this one but, well, Jesus said a lot of things that I’m not sure about.
He doubted. He didn’t lose faith, He didn’t renounce Jesus or even deny Him three time (I’m looking at you, Peter) but He simply doubted.
We don’t talk about such things. Doubt. Questions. Rationality.
I want to touch the wounds, Thomas said.
We don’t say stuff like that, man, this is a horrible time to bring it up.
I want to touch them. There. It’s on the table.
Like a corpse. Odorous. Obvious. Mainly because the other disciples were chewing on the same thing.
But we don’t talk about such things.
The wound is important.
The family secret is a wound.
The hole in Thomas’ belief is a wound.
There is only one remedy for wounds.
We need to talk about them. We need to touch them.
When Isaiah says, “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5) we have to see a more common, less televangelist-esque reality in the midst of it.
A wounded Messiah heals by making our wounds His wounds.
Those put there by others.
Those we put there ourselves.
Those that come, bidden or unbidden, from the dark recesses of the places where we live.
Then, He appears and holds His hands out to us.
Let’s talk about this.
Let’s touch these things.
We’d rather run, we’d rather lock them away and pretend they don’t exist.
Jesus won’t let us. The cross is there, the wounds and the stripes are there – and not there for our guilt, but for our identification. We see our wounds in Him. We talk with Him in that wounded place to know that’s where He dwells.
Thomas sees and feels a gush of light as the door opens.
The family feels a breath of air enter the room.
“Touch my wounds, Thomas. They’re real. They’re mine, and they’re yours.”
Then we touch them, and we speak again. We speak through tears and choking saliva but we speak with freedom.
If we don’t see Jesus as the way we identify with our wounds, touch them, normalize them and embrace them, then we are giving up on the only way a world hell-bent on slicing itself open is truly changed.
Until we see our wounds in Jesus, the wounds of refugees won’t move us.
Until we see our wounds in Jesus, the bullet holes in the bodies and minds of soldiers won’t steal our sleep.
Until we see our wounds in Jesus, we won’t see Him in in the wounds of others, which is where we all meet together.
We all in our humanness, in our wounded wobbling, stand dragging our fingerprints across the flayed skin of Jesus and somehow understand what has to happen.
What has to become more important than anything else.
We need to talk about these things. They are all our wounds.