“Then Jesus told [Thomas], ‘You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.'”(John 20:29 NLT)
“Terry! Wake up! I hear the owl!”
I had been hearing this sound every night from inside our cabin at Camp Loma de Vida, in south Texas, USA, during the winter months this year. We had never actually pin-pointed its source. Terry reluctantly pulled on his clothes, and we quietly opened the door. Of course, by the time we ventured outside, we didn’t hear a thing.
As birders, Terry and I keep an informal record of the birds that we see, starting afresh every January. There’s the list for the year, and also a Life List, for birds that we see for the very first time. We don’t keep lists for any particular organization, just as a hobby. There was a time, nearly fifty years ago, when Terry would help a friend take part in special breeding bird surveys every June. They would list the names of the birds both seen and heard for three minutes, as they stopped every half mile along a twenty-five mile stretch of the highway. Both Terry and his friend had good hearing then, and our friend recognized many birds merely by their sound. These were counted along with the ones seen. The sound of the bird was just as valid as seeing it.
After trying to see “our” owl for about a week, my husband finally declared, “I think we’ll add him to the list. I’m pretty sure it’s a Great Horned Owl.” He played me its call on the bird app on his phone. “It’s the only owl it could be in this area.”
“But I want to see it!” I replied. I wanted visible proof that it really was a Great Horned Owl.
After the resurrection, one of Jesus’ disciples had much the same reaction.
“One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he replied, ‘I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.’ Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. ‘Peace be with you,’ he said. Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!’ ‘My Lord and my God!’ Thomas exclaimed.”(John 20:24-28 NLT)
Thomas believed when he saw Him, but we have not seen Him.
“You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.”(1 Peter 1:8 NLT)
We trusted in the evidence that, indeed, the owl was present in the trees around us. We have never seen Jesus physically, but because of the resurrection, we “see” Him with our spiritual eyes, and believe. As we celebrate in this Easter season, may we rejoice that we can believe, even though we have not seen Him with our natural eyes.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that because of the resurrection of Jesus so many years ago, we are blessed to believe. Help us to overcome our unbelief and to trust You in all situations. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Alice Burnett <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission