Thank God for awkward questions!

Yesterday, on the first Sunday after Easter we had the reading from St. John’s Gospel, about how ‘doubting’ Thomas met the risen Lord and was invited to touch his wounds.

Well thank goodness for Thomas, the one disciple who had the courage to say what everyone else was thinking but didnt dare say, the courage to ask the awkward questions that drew from Jesus some of the most beautiful and profoundly comforting of all his sayings. “We dont know where you’re going, how can we know the way”? asked Thomas, and because he had the courage to confes his ignorance, we were given that beautiful saying “I am the way the Truth and the Life” Here is the poem I have written for St. Thomas, which seems to fit with this Eastertide and also a sermon called ‘Touching the Wounds’ which I preached this Sunday at St. Edwards.

I am greateful to Margot Krebs Neale for the thought-provoking image above, you can hear the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button below or on the title of the poem and you can hear the sermon on my podcast site by clicking here: Touching The Wounds

St. Thomas the Apostle


“We do not know… how can we know the way?”

Courageous master of the awkward question,

You spoke the words the others dared not say

And cut through their evasion and abstraction.

Oh doubting Thomas, father of my faith,

You put your finger on the nub of things

We cannot love some disembodied wraith,

But flesh and blood must be our king of kings.

Your teaching is to touch, embrace, anoint,

Feel after Him and find Him in the flesh.

Because He loved your awkward counter-point

The Word has heard and granted you your wish.

Oh place my hands with yours, help me divine

The wounded God whose wounds are healing mine.


oh place my hands with yours, help me divine
the wounded God whose wounds are healing mine


Filed under christianity, literature, St. Edward's

6 responses to “Thank God for awkward questions!

  1. If you visit the chapel at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, the painting over the altar is of St Thomas. I have always thought he was a very Unitarian saint – the patron saint of doubters. I am glad you see doubt as the foundation of faith – I think there is a very profound relationship between the two.

    • malcolmguite

      Thanks Yvonne. I develop that Faith-doubt relationship mentioned in the poem a little further in the sermon which is linked to this post.
      as ever M

  2. What wonderful insight. Something we should encourage in our children – never be afraid to ask questions. I love the phrase ‘awkward counter-point’ in the poem. Very evocative. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Your sonnet and the thoughts above remind me of the painting hanging in Bangor Cathedral – entitled ‘Still Doubting’ it is a reworking of the Caravaggio painting by John Granville Gregory

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