Each morning I exit our back yard by going through the gate at the sidewalk. Most days I enter and exit that gate several times a day. But this morning as I went out for my early bike ride, I noticed the intricate spider webs between the gate’s rails and post. There were at least five on the gate alone and more on the fence of each side. As I began my ride, I wondered why I had never noticed them before, or if they had been present before this particular morning. Riding my warm-up, I heard cardinals, rufous-sided towhees, woodpeckers, and crows calling to each other in the dense fog. Then I knew why I had noticed the spider webs—the dew covered them with its moisture, revealing their presence to me. But, I wondered, are they there during a dry morning?
As I pumped into my third mile, wrapped by fog and bird song, I thought of our Sunday School lesson this past week. We had read and discussed the disciple Thomas, and his reaction to the news of our risen Lord. Now, you can decide whether he deserves the mantle that church tradition has placed on him. Is Thomas a doubter or just a human being? Was he any different than the other disciples or the women who followed Him?
I grant to the reader that there is a big difference between the Resurrection and spider webs on a metal gate. However, what is similar is my reaction to seeing the spider webs and Thomas wanting to see and touch the wounds of Jesus before believing. Had my reader told me yesterday when the morning was dry that the gate had several spider webs on it, I would have scoffed. Yet, in the fog they were easily seen. So with Thomas and the others, when they saw the scars, they knew.
As I type these words and look out the window, I cannot see Lake Norman, but I know it is there. Our faith of God must be, it seems to me, like that: we must believe as if we have seen.