Touching Thomas (John 20:1-29)

"The Incredulity of St. Thomas" by Caravaggio. Public Domain. 

"The Incredulity of St. Thomas" by Caravaggio. Public Domain. 



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!


                                                      --Elton Higgs





Elton Higgs

Dr. Elton Higgs was a faculty member in the English department of the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1965-2001. Having retired from UM-D as Prof. of English in 2001, he now lives with his wife and adult daughter in Jackson, MI.. He has published scholarly articles on Chaucer, Langland, the Pearl Poet, Shakespeare, and Milton. His self-published Collected Poems is online at He also published a couple dozen short articles in religious journals. (Ed.: Dr. Higgs was the most important mentor during undergrad for the creator of this website, and his influence was inestimable; it's thrilling to welcome this dear friend onboard.)