I found this on Facebook today (credit as per picture) and it brought to mind a homily I heard yesterday about Doubting Thomas.
Why do we remember him for his one act of doubt about Jesus’s resurrection? Why do we not know him for his thousands of acts of love, trust, faith, obedience, spirituality etc? Thomas was a disciple of Jesus, one of the original apostles, one of the chosen few yet we know him only for his statement that he would only believe Jesus was risen when he’d put his fingers in his wounds as proof of his resurrection. We know him as Thomas the doubter for that one little thing.
How many times have you criticised yourself for failing in some small way? Or beaten yourself up for that one error of judgement when you should have done or said something differently?
What about other people?
For all the small gestures of love your husband or wife does for you, is it fair that you only remember the time when they didn’t bring you flowers on your anniversary? Or all the times your postman delivers your mail intact and through your door, is it fair to get angry for the envelope that rips or bends?
And the bigger things. Our politicians for example. Is it right that we think of Margaret Thatcher as “the milk snatcher”, or do we remember the slew of other stuff that she put in place to improve our lives?
It seems the way of the world now that people have to perform at the top of their game every minute of every day or else they’re out. No mistakes or poor judgements are tolerated. A football manager whose team loses a match? Sack him! A school who failed to achieve 90% top grades in exams? Put them in special measures!! A hospital who has a high mortality rate? Close it!!
What about all the games they DO win, or pupils who are roundly educated, or people whose lives are saved by skilled doctors and surgeons? Or are they, like Thomas, destined to be remembered because of that one little thing they fall short on?
And what about you? Are you as harsh on yourself as others are, or do you think that being human is being part failure and part success? Can you forgive yourself for those little slips and errors?
I hope so, but I know that whatever happens, God understand you and will always forgive you.
Even for the little things.