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A fable

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Luke 24:36-39
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see."

Once upon a time I was lost. And my wife was lost too, though in a different part of the forest. We couldn't seem to get together. At times a path would take me near her, and I could hear her voice. Sometimes she would get nearer to me, and catch just a glimpse of my face. But then the path would turn, and we'd be gone again.

We had suggestions, trail books, memories. But the maze of trails got us nowhere. Over and over we tried, and over and over we failed to connect. We were lost.

This awful life was new for us. Animal cries that never bothered us before now shook me with fear. I worried that she'd been eaten, and I worried that I'd be eaten. When I huddled in front of my fire, I huddled alone. She did too, and I could imagine her freezing, shivering, trying to wrap her arms around herself.

Everything we'd done together still needed doing, but now we did it all twice ... alone. We made two breakfasts. We washed two sets of clothes. We filled two water buckets. There was no one to serve. I could love only from a distance.

Many days I forgot to pray. And as the days died away, so did my wife. She must have felt me dying, too. We knew each other no longer ...

But this was once, upon a time. Then unexpectedly, without explanation or fanfare Jesus came to us and said, "Why are you troubled? Why do doubts rise in your mind? Look, it is me. Touch me and see." We were not alone.

Our relationship changed then. Within days we found the path that had been there forever, and followed it back to each other. The forest no longer seemed so dark, although it remained very, very deep. Because we had touched Jesus' wounds, our own were finally manageable.

And death had no dominion.

Jesus, show me the way to live through you. You are the center of everything, and the circumstances of my life merely lead me to you.

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