Jesus walks through a wall, like a ghost, appearing to his followers, and says to them, “Peace be with you” (which is the right thing to say to your friends who are probably screaming and wetting themselves) then immediately turns to Thomas and says, “Look here, see the holes in my hands; touch them. Put your hand inside them.” He turns their attention, not to the crazy ghost-like magic show he just put on, but to the holes in his hands.
This is incredibly interesting to me because Jesus just dissolved his atoms, walked through a wall, and while reassembling his atoms to put his body back together, chose not to make the holes in his hands go away. And he could have.
This makes me ask questions about what it means to be resurrected. Perhaps being resurrected is less about a good story, victory and magic tricks, and more about holes.
The other day, my wife was telling a friend of ours about a big conversation we had several years earlier in our relationship. This, at the time, was a ‘grand daddy’ of all conversations where I told her about a one night stand I had one month before meeting her. Yah. Boom! Scariest conversation of my life.
I always knew I would tell her one day. Perhaps when we were super old and wrinkly and she couldn’t hear anymore. I believed in the passing of time to make things safer because, in my mind, I believed she would easily forgive me, justifying that it was the “old me”, and at that point I would be too weak for her to hit me.
But something switched in me. I saw “confession” and transparency differently. It was actually selfish. I desperately needed to be loved and I realized that, if I didn’t tell her, she would always be in love with the version of me I was portraying to her and I just couldn’t handle that. This would make me feel rejected because, if I really show her all of me, she might walk.
Sometimes we’d rather be partially loved than fully known and rejected. (pause)
Revealing my hands
I pictured the altar; holding her hands, hearing her sweetly say, “I do”. Hearing me say it back but in a sexy spartan voice like Gerard Butler. I couldn’t stand thinking her “I do” was a partial “I do.” Not because of her but because that’s all I allowed. I’d seen it, watched it, lived it and I couldn’t do it. I wanted her to really know who she was marrying.
So I told her. It was like 'The Notebook'; under a gazebo in the park on a rainy day.
It hurts hurting someone.
I apologized and gave her space. I told her I understood if she wanted to break up or separate and think about it. I had accepted and was preparing myself for the worst outcome. (The rain wasn’t helping).
We sat in silence for a long time.
After what seemed like an eternity, she looked up at me, took my face in her hands, kissed my forehead and said, “I love you. Thank you for telling me.”
It wasn’t just my wife who knew the truth about me that day. Yes, my honesty was the right thing for her, but it was the best thing for me. As I showed her the holes in my hands, she didn’t pull back. She touched them and together we experienced a death and a resurrection.
Strength to tell the real story
In retelling the story to our friend, my wife was in the middle of saying, “Ronnie wanted to share with me some personal things about himself that I didn’t know yet” when I interrupted and said, “Honey. I know you’re trying to be polite and I appreciate it, but it’s ok, we can tell her the story.” I then turned and told our friend the story.
God doesn’t just re-write our stories – he gives us the strength and ability to just tell the actual story. Period.
I’ve learned that only the known can know love, and you can only love what you know.
I’m learning I’d rather be loved for who I am than a hologram, and it’s a freaking daily thing.
A whole new way of life
That conversation was just the beginning of a whole new way of life; where two people are learning to actually know one another. The story was big but it’s not anymore. Because that's the way we live … every-single-day.
I’ve learned that honesty is worth every tear. It’s the only way to completely know yourself and to truly feel loved by someone else.
I’ve also learned honesty is my responsibility, no matter how someone may respond. I may have lost her that day, but that is the price I was willing to pay to not have a fake or disguised love. It paid and still pays off a thousand fold.
I see now that I’d rather be known than liked. The two don’t always go hand in hand, but sometimes…they do.
Ronnie is an artist who's ideas have launched businesses, apps, music albums, and as of late, cartoons. He thinks outside the box but don't tell him that, he doesn't believe in boxes, unless you're in a movie cinema. Ronnie lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A with his wife Anna and their three boys Jack, Griffin and Maverick.
See previous articles by Ronnie Herrema