There was once an extraordinary woman whose husband was injured in a fire while he was trying to save his parents. Unfortunately his parents died, but her husband’s face was terribly burned and disfigured.
The man was so self-conscious he would not let anyone see him, not even his wife. In desperation she went to see Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a well-known plastic surgeon. She told the doctor that her husband would not let anyone see him. He stayed locked in his room all the time.
The doctor asked why she came to see him. “I want you to disfigure my face so I can be like him. If I can share in his pain, maybe he will let me back into his life.” Dr. Maltz was shocked and would not touch her face.
The doctor was so moved he went to see her husband. He spoke to him through the bedroom door and said he could restore his face. No response. “She wants me to disfigure her face like yours hoping that you will let her back into your life. She loves you that much.” The door slowly opened, the husband came out and they discussed the facial operation.
This story sheds a new light on today’s Gospel (Luke 24:35-48).The Apostles were disfigured like the husband, hiding behind closed doors. Peter had denied him, Judas betrayed him and the others ran away. They were disfigured cowards. The Risen Jesus appears to them with his wounds still showing.
Jesus was like the wife, wanting to be let back into their disfigured lives. The Risen Jesus, still showing his wounds wants to come through the doors and walls we use to hide because we ourselves are wounded and afraid. The Risen Jesus loves us that much!
I listen and I try to understand the anger, the bitterness and even the rage in so many people I know because of the political scene the past few years. The racial tensions in our country today seem to be lighting a fuse under people around me. The more I listen I become aware of the deep wounds in their personal lives that have never healed.
They are like the husband or the disciples who have never healed, are so afraid, and have never allowed themselves to be deeply loved. Jesus made sure he showed them his wounds that had healed.
I pray for the deeply wounded around me to recognize that they are hurting and afraid and as a result they are lashing out at public figures. So many people in our country need to reflect on the healed wounds of Jesus and receive the healing touch of their Risen Savior.
What doors and walls in YOUR life is the Risen Jesus trying to get through?
DEAR JESUS, PLEASE KEEP YOUR ARM AROUND MY SHOULDER AND YOUR HAND OVER MY MOUTH!