I know it’s been a couple of weeks since we heard the story of “Doubting Thomas” at Mass, but I have been thinking of it quite a bit over the past few days. Mostly because I think I empathize with Thomas. And quite frankly, I think out of all the disciples, I am most like him.
Why do I think that? I think he seems to be the one with the worst luck. Imagine all of your friends are gathered—and it’s the one night you’re not with them—which just happens to be the night Jesus comes back. Figures. I’d be pretty mad. I’d tell them I’d want to see what they saw to believe it, too, because that would only be fair.
Even though I’m not a theologian, I couldn’t help but think about it this way: Could I believe that Jesus rose from the dead if I were Thomas, without seeing? Maybe. But for sure I wouldn’t trust the word of the ragtag group of men Jesus chose as his closest friends and followers.
In my own life I realized how often I don’t trust people when what they say has to do with something outside of my own admittedly limited experiences. For instance, I have a friend who can do complex math problems in their head. I didn’t believe them until I saw them do one with my own eyes. I know it’s a silly example, but it goes to show that even with people we know and say we trust, there is always a little bit of doubt. When we haven’t experienced something, it’s hard for us to relate.
Yet, what if we didn’t need to relate more to people unlike ourselves, we just needed to trust them? I’m not talking “world peace” level trust here…I’m talking about trusting more in the people in your own circle: your friends, your family, your co-workers.
Instead of automatically putting up your guard and saying “That can’t be true,” how about taking the person for their word, hard as it may be, and believing in them.
Have you been in a situation where someone didn’t trust you? Or perhaps you didn’t trust someone else? Please share your experience as it may help someone else.