July 3, 2008

Thomas

Today is the calendar day to remember the Apostle Thomas's story. His story? Not much is known of Thomas and if not for the Gospel of John, we wouldn't know much of anything. Other's have mentioned Thomas in their writings. And it's said he was allotted to go to India as a missionary and died a martyrs death.

He's called "Doubting Thomas" by most Christians. The term is used in a sardonic way - like "better are we who believe without the need to see!" Or like it's wrong to doubt. Are Christians not to doubt? If no doubts, why would we need faith?! "Doubt is the shadow cast by faith" - Hans Kung. (The painting is by Caravaggio.)

Thomas is also referred to as Dydimous, meaning "twin". The idea of twin reminds me that I can be two people - both a doubting person and a believing person at the same time. In my doubts, a community of faith can help me see the Truth, and not let doubt destroy me.

I liked what Michael Yaconelli said of Thomas in his book Dangerous Wonder (oh, that Mike were still alive to write more wonder-full books!). Thomas asked a lot of questions. He had a childlike curiosity. During the last supper, Jesus assured the disciples they knew where He was going. Thomas, just like a questioning child ... "where?", "why?" ...

Thomas missed seeing Jesus after the Crucifixion. Thomas wasn't satisfied with just seeing Jesus, he wanted more. He wanted to touch Jesus, embrace Him! I don't see Thomas as doubting. I see him as longing for Jesus. I thirst, hunger, and long for more of Jesus too.

"Curiosity is a hunger of the soul, and because Thomas was strong and courageous and spoke bluntly, he was daring enough to ask tough questions. He was not refusing to believe, he was refusing to settle for secondhand faith. Thomas was driven to know truth--to mingle with it, wrestle with it, become intimate with it." Mike wrote.

On Thomas's calendar day I remind myself Jesus wants me to live as a child - curious, daring, reckless, adventurous ... Not asking questions just for information, but for relationship.
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