The risen Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your hands into my wounds, and you will know who I am.” His wounds were part of him now, part of his history. His wounds now a part of His identity.
I feel that way. I feel as if my wounds are visible, tangible, palpable. But I see something else in this passage. Thomas was talking to a risen Christ. He had conquered the grave, conquered death.
To believe in Christ’s death and resurrection is also to believe that I can rise up now from my dark grave of this suffering love. Suffering love should increase my sympathy for the world’s wounds, enlarge my anguish for the lost. Suffering love should expand my love for those around me, and those I come in contact with. Suffering love should increase my gratefulness for the good I see and the ability to see it. Suffering love should deepen my insight and strengthen my commitment to what is truly important. Suffering love should increase my anticipation for a New Heaven and a New Earth, where all things are new, and set right, and as they should be, for eternity.
If suffering love dampens my passion, diminishes my faith, weakens my hope; if nothing good comes from Grant’s death, then death has won. The grave will have had victory.
So I will struggle to live with the reality of both Christ’s death and resurrection, and the ramifications that should have on the life I have left here. I will fight to live the kind of life Christ’s resurrection won for me. In my living this kind of life, Grant’s dying will not be the last word. But as I rise up, I am freshly aware today that I bear the wounds of his death. My rising, my living, does not remove them, never will. They mark me now, they are a part of my history, my identity. If you want to know who I am, “put your hand in.”