A prayer to St. Thomas

         “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,
         and put my finger in the mark of the nails
         and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

                  — John 20.25

Thomas, by brother, my teacher, my friend,
lend me your faith,
         the gift of your searching,
         your hunger for Jesus alone:
the faithfulness to seek the Living One,
         not just something somebody told you;
the love to touch the Suffering One,
         not some cheap dime-store Jesus
         who had a bad weekend but now he’s fine,
         but who deeply suffered for you,
         who has seen the inside of your grave;
the courage to face the Despised one,
         your shadow,
         who has borne your guilty shame,
         and all of ours;
the humility to seek the Forgiving One,
         who has not simply forgotten or overlooked
         your darkest rottenness,
         but blesses you with hands you tortured.
Thomas, give me your faith,
         to seek the living, bleeding Christ,
         not one untouched, unhurt, thus unforgiving.

Thomas, my elder, my guide— lend me your faith,
the goading shoe-stone of questioning
         that does not settle easily,
         that always wants more of God,
         that waits;
the fiery honesty that burns away
         all pride and pretense,
         all faith that’s merely laziness.

Dear faithful Thomas,
         you who bear our blame for “doubting,”
         no more than we, yet wounded by our epithet,
you, too, like Christ, have suffered for our sins,
         and in your grace redeem us.
Gentle Thomas, speak kindly to Christ of me,
         for, like you, I am only seeking Christ,
         restless for the Crucified and Risen One.


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