July the 3rd is the Feast of St. Thomas the apostle. Sometimes known as ‘doubting’ Thomas, but maybe honest Thomas, courageous Thomas, even Tenacious Thomas would be nearer the mark!
I thank God for St. 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 confess 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, and also a sermon called ‘Touching the Wounds’ which I preached at St. Edwards.
This sonnet is drawn from my collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press here in England. The book is now back in stock on both Amazon UK and USA . The book is now also out on Kindle. Please feel free to make use of these sonnets in church services and to copy and share them. If you can mention the book from which they are taken that would be great.
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.
If you are enjoying these posts, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!
11 responses to “Thank God for ‘Doubting’ Thomas!”
This is another one of your profound and beautiful poems. My husband, with me, have been receiving beauty bursts like IV infusions from your poetry throughout these pandemical times. Thank you for it. Especially grateful today for the honor you bestow on St. Tom…..he certainly gets a bad rap!
Best from Texas…..Maureen Benke
I’ve owned this book of yours for a long time but had forgotten this particular poem. So lovely. And the ending is wringing my heart on this holiday weekend in the US. Thank you.
Malcolm, the audio file (for we audiophiles) spears to result in a broken link. Even past year’s posts suffer the same error… Can you please re-link the audio?
Hearing you read your own poetry makes it extra delightful!
Points (though “spears” is a good substitute) is what I meant…
Needed this. Thank you.
See you in Oxford!
One of my very favourites of yours…thanks for Tenacious Thomas and “courageous master of the awkward question.” I identify with Thomas too…and our questions either get answered in due course or we learn that in the gaze of his love they don’t really matter…or they can wait.
I share my birthday with the feast of St Thomas & have always felt an affinity with him – love your poem – especially the line “you spoke the words the others dare not say” – St Thomas was clearly an ordinary guy trying to get his head around extraordinary events – his questioning gives us the reassurance that true faith constantly seeks answers.
Thanks for the encouragement
So great, Malcolm. “Courageous master of the awkward question”. Thanks for this post. Whenever I hear you teach, I always feel undereducated. But, I’m grateful for members of my Family who use their learning, insight and wisdom to excavate new depths for my own faith.
Thanks. Glad you liked that one