Every Tuesday morning 6th grade girls flutter into our basement before school. Backpacks stack high by our stairs, and Bibles are grabbed. These girls straddling the delicacies of adolescence come with energy and giggles to recharge my waiting heart and questions to stretch my tired brain.
This Tuesday we recapped our spring breaks and Easter. The conversations always enlighten and rabbit-trail like it’s nobody’s business, but they’re definitely entertaining. One of the girls shared how she dressed up as the Easter bunny last year, which led to Disney characters, which led to a Tinker Bell story from years ago.
“I was so excited to meet Tinker Bell,” a Sweet One began. Her body bounced up and down as she recalled her anticipation. “I went up to Tinker Bell and asked her to show me her pixie dust. I wanted to see her fly. I was so disappointed when she said she didn’t have pixie dust. She’s Tinker Bell! Why doesn’t she have pixie dust?”
Her shoulders moved forward.
“I was so sad,” she said and laughed at the same time. The girls giggled along with her story.
We opened our Bibles to the story of Thomas.
Digesting the words.
Pondering Thomas’ understandable doubt at Jesus being alive.
Wondering why Thomas wasn’t previously with the other disciples.
Contemplating Thomas’ shock and internal unraveling as he’s confronted an entire week later with the One he just buried and has been told is risen.
The girls echoed Thomas’ sentiments, felt his emotions, and questions poured out of them.
And then to my right a hand raised to the sky. I called on her, and in the profound wisdom and genuine simplicity of a 12-year-old girl, she tied everything back to Tinker Bell.
“It’s like Tinker Bell,” she began, directing her eyes to the Sweet One who shared the story.
I quiet the other girls to listen. I sense the sacredness of her next words.
“You’d heard about her, but you hadn’t seen her yet. You wanted to believe, but you needed to see it with your own eyes. You wanted to know she was real by the pixie dust.”
Echoes of “oh yeah” bounced off the walls as the curtain of Truth spoken from the mouth of a pre-teen peeled their eyes open.
Maybe that’s why we relate to Thomas. It makes more sense when we see, touch and feel.
Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (John 20:27)
I wish I could see this scene. Thomas touched the wounds of Jesus. Jaw gaped. Eyes enlarged. Knees buckled. Heart completely undone.
Thomas and Sweet One. Sweet One was disappointed. Thomas was elated and humbled.
As the girls rushed out of our home to the awaiting carpool, I can’t help but think that may have been the final time Thomas doubted Jesus. Once you’ve seen, touched and experienced the One who was raised from the dead, you can’t go back. Ever.
Then, Jesus takes it one step further and says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
Therein lies the mystery and wonder of faith.