The season after Easter Sunday is often filled with stories of the resurrected Jesus appearing to people.

The most common one is the story of Thomas. When Jesus visits the disciples, Thomas is absent. They tell him all about seeing the resurrected Jesus, but Thomas is skeptical. He had just seen the man die. And while words are nice, they aren’t enough. He demands to see Jesus in the flesh.

A few days later, the disciples are all together again — Thomas, too. And Jesus appears through all the walls, figuratively and physically. He allows Thomas to touch his scars, and he invites him to see and believe.

When clumped together and tied with a neat bow, these encounters, specifically Thomas’ story, can become a collection of shameful behaviors we are taught to avoid.

Faith becomes a competitive sport, and we sneer at Thomas’ ridiculousness.

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I invite you to think past this and instead connect with deep, human grief. Sorrow. Pain. Terror. Vulnerability.

What if Thomas was a grieving human who wanted the embodiment of mercy? Maybe the scariest part of this story is that Jesus shows up in all the mess doing

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