Thomas encounters the risen Jesus in this Sunday’s lectionary passage: John 20:19-31. A new poem based on this passage of scripture.


Running blind ‘round a corner,
Robber to a cop in hot pursuit,
Forehead meets half-opened door;
Pain, dizziness, trickle of blood.

Childhood memory is borne in the body,
Fibrous tissues heralding past pain,
Scar as locus of life’s hurt and healing.

Boyhood hands whittle a branch,
Releasing bark, sharpening to a point.
“Always away from you,” momentarily forgotten,
Jackknife jumps, slices skin, hits bone.

Carelessness traced today in curve of flesh,
Proteins reknit in simulacrum of skin,
Body absorbs and reveals grief.

Parent home with groceries in hand,
Child placed, one-armed, upon the floor.
Tip and tilt and tumble against a hinge,
Yelp of pain – open, wounded cheek.

Not only self-inflicted, our scars,
Mutuality in our blessing and bruising,
We bear each other’s lives in our bodies.

God among us as teacher, healer,
Hinged divine-human life among us,
Bearing our brutality in his body,
Taking scars into triune life.

Who could believe such a thing,
Let alone resurrection of a dead man?
Mutuality in the God-man’s repairing,
Fibrous tissues. Impossible possibility.

Enclosed within I am who I am,
Received within I will be who I will be,
Scars bespeak his vindication, our redemption.
Only one disciple yet to see, believe.

— R. De Vries

The header image for this post is from a piece by Marie-Claude Bouthillier in the exhibit “Elle”, presently on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.




About Roland De Vries

Rev. Roland De Vries is director of pastoral studies at Presbyterian College, Montreal. He blogs at Encrusted Words. Subscribe to this blog.