Thomas of Didymus extract…

I’m working on a Sunday reflection around the post-resurrection encounter of Thomas and Jesus, and I found this wonderful poem…I have extracted this final section of the poem – the full poem can be read here: http://www.betterlivingthroughbeowulf.com/tormented-torn-twisted-with-doubt/

St. Thomas Didymus (extract) by Denise Levertov

So it was
that after Golgotha…
…and after the empty tomb
when they told me that He lived, had spoken to Magdalen,
told me
that though He had passed through the door like a ghost
He had breathed on them
the breath of a living man – 
even then
when hope tried with a flutter of wings
to lift me –
still, alone with myself,
my heavy cry was the same: Lord
I believe,
help thou mine unbelief.

 

I needed
blood to tell me the truth,
the touch
of blood. Even
my sight of the dark crust of it
round the nailholes
didn’t thrust its meaning all the way through
to that manifold knot in me
that willed to possess all knowledge,
refusing to loosen
unless that insistence won
the battle I fought with life

 

But when my hand
led by His hand’s firm clasp
entered the unhealed wound,
my fingers encountering
rib-bone and pulsing heat,
what I felt was not
scalding pain, shame for my
obstinate need,
but light, light streaming
into me, over me, filling the room
as I had lived till then
in a cold cave, and now
coming forth for the first time,
the knot that bound me unravelling,
I witnessed
all things quicken to colour, to form,
my question
not answered but given
its part
in a vast unfolding design lit
by a risen sun.

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