Put your hand into my wounds,” said the risen Jesus to Thomas, “and you will know who I am.” The wounds of Christ are his identity. They tell us who he is. He did not lose them. They went down into the grave with him and they came up with him — visible, tangible, palpable. Rising did not remove them. He who broke the bonds of death kept his wounds.
To believe in Christ’s rising from the grave is to accept it as a sign of our own rising from our graves…Slowly I begin to see that there is something more as well. To believe in Christ’s rising and death’s dying is also to live with the power and the challenge to rise up now from all our dark graves of suffering love. If sympathy for the world’s wounds is not enlarged by our anguish, if love for those around us is not expanded, if gratitude for what is good does not flame up, if insight is not deepened, if commitment to what is important is not strengthened, if aching for a new day is not intensified, if hope is weakened and faith diminished, if from the experience of death comes nothing good, then death has won. Then death, be proud.
So I shall struggle to live the reality of Christ’s rising and death’s dying. In my living, my son’s dying will not be the last word. But as I rise up, I bear the wounds of his death. My rising does not remove them. They mark me. If you want to know who I am, put your hands in.
…but we all suffer. For we all prize and love; and in this present existence of ours, prizing and loving yield suffering. Love in our world is suffering love. Some do not suffer much, though, for they do not love much. Suffering is for the loving. This, said Jesus, is the command of the Holy One: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In commanding us to love, God invites us to suffer.
-Nicholas Wolterstorff in Lament for a Son
some friends who are grieving a tremendous loss have found this book and this book alone, resonant.
how tame is our grief, how empty are our tears, how unmarked is our sadness? after this season of grief insurmountable, I have tasted a corporeal mourning that is severe, searing, forsaken, bloody, fleshly –all strangely yielding creativity, anguished remembering, and more lamenting. This season has been a furious protest, a protest against normalcy and civility, against betrayal and confusion.
How long do they sing this song? I sing it from afar with far less pain, how do I continue to sing their song, her song, his song? Do I even know mine?