Intangibly Tangible Faith

Written by Kaylan Caufield

John 20:24-29

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I’ve always had the notion that, as a twin, people always look at us and immediately compare us to one another. Whether it be to figure out who is who or to differentiate us in some way, Raegan and I are always being used as a baseline for the other. As of late, it’s been “Are you the married one?” or “Do you have the ring?…nope, so you’re Kaylan”. In those instances, Satan attempts to capitalize and magnify the feelings of loneliness and singleness that I am often reminded of outside of those interactions.

Before this summer, I was in a dark place spiritually. Recently graduated and having left my job of 3 years, I was lost. I wasn’t in the Word every day and I wasn’t living a life that honored God. I, like Thomas, was extremely doubtful. I was also heavily focused on worldly things – money, status, image – you name it and it was probably at the forefront of my mind. And here I was about to leave for a summer to work at a camp where I was supposed to help lead others to Jesus. How in the heck was I supposed to do that when I couldn’t even take time for Him on my own?

Those who know me best know I do not have the spiritual gift of discernment. I can hardly tell left from right most days and in order for me to understand some things I practically need a neon LED sign showing me the way. When it comes to Jesus, I pretty much need the same thing. However, He doesn’t exactly work that way. Or so I thought. After coming home from camp, I took a step back to process the events of the summer and to figure out the looming question of, “Where do I go from here”? It was in that moment where my unbelief – my doubt in how mighty and great God is – became faith. Just as Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28) after seeing the wounds upon Jesus’ hands, so, too, did I stand in complete awe at the beauty of what I experienced during my time at camp. It was an intangible yet tangible moment of how the Lord worked through me during the summer to not only help change the lives of others, but to change my own life, too.

We don’t have Jesus physically in front of us to prove who He is or to show us the roadmap of our lives (granted, the disciples didn’t have their roadmaps, either). Yet, we have divine moments in our lives where we can’t deny that Jesus is who He says He is. We also have small moments that accomplish the same if we only slow down enough to observe them. I am not the same girl I was before I left for camp and I won’t be that person again. Since coming home, I make it a point to be in the Word every day and take a moment to be grateful for what God is doing in my life (big or small). At times, I also try to discern what His purpose is for me (still working on that last one, but who isn’t?). By keeping Jesus first, my faith has gotten stronger and I find myself looking for the peace only He can provide, not what I thought the world could.

A friend I worked camp with told me afterwards, “I’m so proud of you for doing this”. When I asked her why she said, “Because you got to be Kaylan. You got to be your own person and stand on your own. You weren’t tied to anyone or anything”. And she’s right. I wasn’t “Kaylan, so & so’s *insert the connection*”. I wasn’t identified by the ring (or lack thereof) on my hand or by the person I know. Do not get me wrong; I love Raegan and I love being a twin with everything in me. But, I struggle with identity just as much as the next person, especially since I have someone who looks just like me walking the same halls I do. This summer showed me that I am my own person, regardless of those things. It also showed me how wildly in love Jesus is with each and every one of us and why he made the matchless sacrifice to die on the cross for us.

Jesus’ interaction with Thomas shows that the resurrected Jesus is full of love and graciousness and gentleness to His people. May He remind us of those things in both the big, tangible moments and the small, everyday ones, too.