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Touching Scars

Michael Dean Clark

Taking a break from my thoughts on place, I wanted to write about doubt. Or English muffins.

Or, really, about Thomas.

As one prone to pressing fingers into my own scars, I've always felt a bit connected to the Missouri of disciples. I think it was because he was supposed to be the one we all looked down on (other  than Judas, but I think that goes without saying even as I finish saying it).

But Thomas, he was the one who didn't believe. He had to be shown. Personally, I think he was just the one who put words to what the other disciples who hadn't been there to see the vacant tomb were thinking.

Recently, I started thinking about Thomas as an author (not about him working as an author, but as an author thinking about Thomas as a symbol…got that?)

I think my initial misconceptions about the most famous doubter in the Bible (though not the biggest or most egregious) have led me to seeing him in a new way. He’s what all artists who claim a faith should aspire to.

Thomas wasn't satisfied with intellectual knowledge that Christ was risen. He wanted to press his fingertips into physical evidence of the miracle that still makes people choose love over what their own eyes tell them. He wanted to feel life in the hands he’d seen lifeless. He wanted to get messy to know, definitively, that we can now be clean.

And that’s what our art should be – a reckless engagement with the scars of living so that they can begin to heal.