As I reread the Easter story this morning, I was struck by the words of the other disciples to Thomas, “We have seen the Lord.” Thomas didn’t believe them, asserting that he had to actually touch the Lord before he could believe that Jesus was alive. I have had my doubts, too, so I don’t judge Thomas.
Last week watching a documentary of different various religious people, I realized that individuals have a need to not only worship a deity or many deities, but they want to experience them through their senses, as in seeing or touching. But, as a Christian, my deity is invisible to me, yet I “see” Him no less than others.
In the documentary, there were Buddhas, Hindu gods and goddesses, and a huge golden statue of the Virgin Mother that was carried six miles through a town on the shoulders of men. I didn’t fully comprehend all of the ways people worshiped, but I did understand the need to know that our prayers and worship are not in vain. In some ways, we seek the same things across religions: a connection with someone or something that sees us and hears our cries for love and hope.
I have become convinced that some of what occurs in the visible realm of our everyday lives are orchestrated in the invisible realm of God. That’s what I mean when I say that I have “seen” the Lord. I saw Him when broken windshield wipers started to work just as we hurled toward the edge of the mountainside in a pouring rain.
I saw Him in the smiling face of my ten-month-old baby who had been on the brink of dying from meningitis, after a strange man had prayed for me and advised me that my baby would be well when I arrived at the hospital that night. And he was!
I saw Him when I was able to walk to my home after being hit so hard by an ex-boyfriend that I landed on the hood of a car and bounced off to the ground. My neck should have been broken, but I lived to tell my story. I saw Him one day as I looked in the storm clouds in the sky with despair at ever bringing my children out of poverty, and the storm clouds parted at that moment and I felt a small voice say, “The sun is still shining above the storm clouds.”
I think in terms of the wind. I cannot see it, touch it, smell it, but I can feel it when it blows sufficiently to rustle leaves on the tree or push me along the road, or I see the destruction of a tornado or the beauty of thousands of leaves moving in concert. Then I know that the wind is real, and in seeing the Lord move in people’s lives, I know that He is real!
I believed in the Lord before I saw Him in so many instances in my life, and I realize that I was blessed, for in John 20:29 Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” On this Easter Sunday, I worship the Lord for His goodness and mercy, and for the hope I find in Him in these uncertain and difficult times.
Worship isn’t an occurrence performed just in case, but the result of a real feeling of not being alone. As I looked at the many ways that people worship, I was stunned by the idea that their needs mirror mine: that we all are seeking to “know” God and feel His love! We want to believe the truth of our feelings. It is in His vast goodness, mercy, and grace that we find a sense of ourseves as loved beings! He is risen! Praise God!