Today’s drugstores carry a wide variety of bandages. Some breathe, others are ouchless. Some are plastic and waterproof. Still others are colorful so children would be glad to wear them. Make sure you have enough browsing time in the drugstore to select exactly what you need!
We use bandages to cover our wounds from surgeries, accidents. Children who gash their knees or bump their heads run to adults with their wounds. They seek an end to pain. They look for comfort.
Other wounds can’t be bandaged. We see woundedness in the stoop of someone’s shoulders, or in their eyes. Each year on Memorial Day, veterans march in our parades. Behind those eyes that look straight ahead are memories of wounds, and wounds unhealed. We try to hide our wounds, forget them, deny them, convincing ourselves that they are meaningless. But wounds matter.
Consider Jesus. On Easter evening, when he first appeared to His followers in the locked upper room, Jesus offered them Peace. Even as He did so, they could see His wounds – His badge of honor. Thomas, for whatever reason, was not there, but he was present when Jesus appeared to the disciples again.
“Touch my wounds,” Jesus said to Thomas. In the end, Thomas did not need to touch them because, during that encounter, something leapt between Jesus and Thomas that brought Thomas to clarity and conviction. Thomas recognized Jesus as Savior and Lord – and these realizations cannot be touched or seen.
It’s important for us to remember that Jesus carried His wounds after He was raised up.
He didn’t cover them. He didn’t hide them.
The wounds of Jesus are important to us because the Resurrection can feel unreal to us. We have not seen Jesus physically or put our hands into his side.
We cannot will ourselves to believe, but when we look at ourselves in the mirror or look at other earthlings, wounded by nature or the perversity of others, we find our own wounds full of truth.
They are a fact and a sign: a fact of our humanness, a mark of our living, and a sign of our connectedness with the risen Christ.
His wounds and ours.
Easter doesn’t mean that Jesus’ wounds are gone – or ours either.Easter gives us hope that we do not carry our wounds in vain.