Why should I have touched His wounds,
Who asked a measure more than those
Who only saw, and made His peace their joy?
Still others, seeing not, will have His touch.
And I, who walked with Him and shared
A thousand days of common ground,
But ran away when He was taken off
To bear the wounds I now have touched–
These wretched hands have felt the anguish of
The wounds He took for me.
Little did I know that what I asked
Was sharing in His pain.
Yet in his love for me, He let
My probing hands renew the desecrating
Thrust of nails and spear;
And now I know that all along
His sufferance of our selfish, grasping fingers,
Seeking only fleshly touch,
Was of a piece with baring all His wounds.
How far He had to reach
To let me touch His side!
Image: “The Incredulity of St. Thomas” by Caravaggio. Public Domain.