For this year’s Lenten series, “Holy Everything” is featuring meditations written from the perspectives of people with whom Jesus interacted in the Gospels. Today, in the final installment of the series, we journey with Thomas.

I’m numb, sad and confused. Up is down. Forward is backward. I can’t eat or sleep. How could this happen?

He’s dead. Jesus is dead. I watched the crucifixion.

Since then, I’ve been mostly living in a haze. I haven’t left the house much. The rest of the group met up at our usual spot last week at this time, but I couldn’t bring myself to go. Of course I miss the rest of the guys. I miss Mary. I miss our other friend, Mary, and her sister, Martha. I miss Lazarus. But seeing them would just remind me of all that we’ve lost.

We never would’ve come together if it weren’t for Jesus. He saw something special in each of us, and he included us in his work of healing and teaching and accompanying oppressed people. I didn’t thank him like I should have. Witnessing his leadership and love changed my life and my heart. I wish I could tell him that. But now he’s gone, and it’s too late.

I didn’t go to the gathering last week because I didn’t want to be reminded of this incredible weight of grief. Though, to be honest, this hopeless heaviness follows me wherever I go. So seeing the rest of my friends wouldn’t have made it any worse. In fact, maybe it would’ve helped. Maybe if we could share the weight of grief, it wouldn’t be as heavy.

I’ve been debating whether to go to this week’s meeting later today. After I missed last week, they ended up rushing over afterward. They made such a huge scene outside my home. When I got to the door, they claimed that Jesus showed up in the middle of their time together. They told me he was alive. “Thomas!” they yelled. “You should’ve been with us today! Jesus was there! He came and stood among us.”

I love my brothers. But that’s ridiculous and impossible. We all watched him die. We watched his lifeless body carried down from the cross. There’s no way he could be alive. They must all be exhausted like me and are now having hallucinations.

I shook my head in disbelief. “Guys, I’m exhausted. You’re not seeing reality. You’re dreaming. It’s not possible. I can’t handle any more grief. Why would you say such a thing?”

“We know it’s hard to believe, Tom. It’s a miracle. We wouldn’t have believed it either. We understand your questions. But trust us. Come next week when we meet again. Maybe Jesus will come back again to talk with us.”

“It’s not possible, guys. Go home.” I closed the door, and they left. I actually felt sad for them. They were heartbroken and confused.

If I go tonight, it’s not because I expect to see Jesus. He’s been dead for over a week. If I go and meet with my friends later today, it’s purely because I miss them. I miss our community and laughter and story-telling, and I don’t want to bear this weight of sadness on my own anymore.

I think I’ll clean up and head out. We’ll eat together and share stories. We’ll cry. Maybe at some point, we can begin to talk about what life will be like without Jesus now that he’s gone.

I just want to see my friends. So that’s what I’ll do. I’ve made up my mind. I’ll go. And who knows what the evening will hold? Jesus always said, “Anything is possible.” In my heart of hearts, I still want to believe that’s true.

Holy Everything is a weekly column by Emily Carson. She is a Lutheran pastor serving at the Southeastern Minnesota Synod Office in Rochester. Visit her blog at emilyannecarson.com.

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