Sunday, 27 April 2014

Thomas II

Did anyone ever ask Thomas?

No one ever asked where I had been.

When the women had brought the message of his Resurrection, I had followed after the others. Seeing Peter confused - as ever- and John struck dumb for once, I prayed with all my heart for it to be true. The women said we had to go back to the Galilee but Peter was still rooted in indecision. There was no sign of us leaving the stale darkness of the upper room. Their words felt like dream memories. Hopes of another world - we were stuck in this one. I couldn't bear it. 

The others swore that they had seen the Lord, but where was the light? Where was his energy, his joy, his understanding? Where was he?

If it was true then why weren't we going to Galilee?

I had said that we should come to die with him. It feels as though I have. My only refuge is  the place where Mary had watched. Bundled into the low branches of the olive tree, wrapped still in the acrid scent of despair, I took the night watch on the abandoned tomb. What was I hoping for? That the Lord would find me, would say my name in the shadows? 

Surely he should have known by now how helpless I am without him. Worried that, even with his promise, I would not find the way to his side. 

Why weren't we going to Galilee?

The feeling of abandonment rocked me. How easy for the women to show their feelings, tears flowing freely, wrapped in each others arms, distracted by burial traditions. finding meaning in death.  Not so easy for a man. Death and sacrifice is what we are about - daggermen, warriors and priests. 

The scent of the spilt herbs and spices rises into the air with the cooling earth. Oil of rosemary and balsam stinging my eyes, catching in my throat. I blink away a tear, then two. More fall and I let them burn into my cheeks, saltiness seeping along the cracks in my lips. From the depths of my being comes a groan. It forces its way through a deep inward breath and releases into the night sky as a howl. Release. I stalk the garden, howling and groaning like a madman, threshing through the bushes, throwing myself against the stone of the tomb, tearing at my clothes. A twin to the Genneseret demoniac - except - who was here to heal me?

The demons came at the scent of torment. But my despair was too complete; they wheeled away in frustration. My heart froze, hope denied. 

There was no Galilee. That's why I went back. To tell them that there was no Galilee. 

And there he was. Still carrying the horrors of the world whilst I stood wrapped up in my own pain. 

And in my pain, he offered me the horrors of the world to hold. And to find him in all of it.  

As I fell to my knees he covered me with his love.

Why would anyone deny the Galilee of Hope.

My Lord and my God. 



Lynda said...

Oh Word, yes the torment of Thomas. For such a long time, I have empathized with Thomas. It is good to ask questions and to assimilate for oneself - not just to accept another's word. We all need to experience Jesus ourselves, in a personal way. This reflection spoke to me so deeply I could feel Thomas' pain and I experienced my own pain of thinking how I would be without Jesus. Thank you. Blessings.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Loved your exploration of Thomas!