Wandering Amylessly: Easter thoughts

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By Amy Larsen
Wyo4News feature writer

Happy Easter Sunday! As I was thinking through what to write about this week, a poem about Jesus kept coming to mind, mostly just the end of it. The poem is One Solitary Life, by Dr. James Allen Francis, and it ends like this:

“Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned–put together–have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.”

I have always found the ending the most thought-provoking part of this poem, as to whether you are part of the 31% of the world population that considers themselves Christians or not; almost everyone on the earth knows of Jesus. Whether spiritually, historically, or through Google, he is someone who stirs up deep feelings, emotions, and conversations. His lessons are still being taught, and one of his greatest commandments to his followers, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34), is still a universal value we strive for. Whether you believe in him or not, it is hard to argue that no one has changed the world more than him.

Submitted photo by Amy Larsen

Obviously, in the Christian faith today, we recognize and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are theologians and spiritual people worldwide that will be giving a much greater reflection, homily, sermon, and even thought on what this means than I can, and I am okay with that. I honestly believe that while the resurrection carries the same meaning to all Christians, it also means something different to them. It is very personal, and at the core of each person’s faith, so I won’t even attempt to go there. However, there is one small detail of the resurrection that was pointed out to me only a few years ago, and it is something that I have carried with me in all of my wanderings and experiencing the stories of the people and places I encounter that I do want to share and reflect on. That small detail is that when he rose from the dead, he came back with wounds on his hands, his feet, and the piercing in his side, and it is particularly the wounds of the hands that always draw me in.

You see, I believe everyone has a story, a story worth knowing, and that is something I hope I never forget. Everyone’s hands have felt love and comfort. They have created with them, shared with them, held someone with them, and built things with them. Everyone’s hands have also felt pain and injury. They have been hurt and hurt others. They have withheld, dropped, and destroyed things as well. They have been soft and hard, clean and dirty, and the older they are, the more their callouses hold their story. They, in many ways, represent the whole of us. They tell our stories and help us write our stories as well.

You see, our non-perfect hands represent our non-perfect lives and are a constant reminder that we all have a past yet a future ahead. It is a reminder that there is someone out there reaching out, wanting to hold them, and a world waiting for what creative things we can and will bring to it. We get to choose how we use them and the legacy they leave behind. But they also show us that we are tougher than we think and that, with time, all wounds heal. When people share their stories with me, I am fascinated with their hands and what stories they wish they could tell.

The wounds on Jesus’s hands constantly remind me that no matter what I am going through, someone else has gone through it already and is still going. That I am not the only one that has felt pain and suffering. They also remind me that miracles did and do still happen and that love prevails. Nothing is more comforting in the world than someone holding your hand and assuring you they are always with you. Few things are more satisfying than standing back and looking at the masterpieces you have created. You see, the resurrection reminds us that love truly does conquer all, yet the wounds on the hand remind us that one person’s story truly makes a difference.