At our first encounter, everything sounded quite great as they spoke of what they wanted to do. There were big dreams and big names involved. Fair enough. It all sounded great, until I chewed on it a few hours after the meeting and finally realized that actually, we had nothing to go on. I went and vented with Larry later that evening, feeling quite disappointed because I had been excited about this project.
So when the officials called to ask for a working document, I said that we needed to hear from the person in charge so that it was clear in our heads what the bigger picture was. They considered that fair enough. We set up the date a week in advance, and on the day itself, Larry and I travelled and arrived two hours in advance. I had taken this thing very seriously and dressed up. But do I say.
By the time we left the place, we had a clearer picture of what the officials were looking for. But we got it not from what they explicitly said, but was from what they talked about. Again, I don’t mind that as much as the fact they gave us no indication of what they were willing to commit in terms of time and resources. So right now, we’re going to work on some ideas, and spell out the resources those ideas will need for them to work, but frankly speaking, I’m a little skeptical of what will be available.
Until this week, I always used to think of the story of Thomas, the disciple who would not believe Jesus had risen until he had placed his fingers on the Lord’s hands and touched the Lord’s side, as a story reprimanding people for not believing without direct experience. After all, Jesus did say that that those who believed without seeing are blessed.
But now I realize that Thomas did a good thing to doubt, and that’s why the story is there. Because he was honest enough to doubt, the Lord used the opportunity to prove that He had resurrected in the flesh. And Jesus was gracious – He did give in and allow Thomas to touch Him, because what was most important to Christ was that Thomas believed, not that Thomas was proved wrong. And if Christ could die on a cross so that people believe, appearing to Thomas to clear doubt is such a small thing in comparison.
And Christ’s action shows us what leadership is. The leader knows that there’s no resurrection without pierced hands, a wounded side and death on the Cross. And that’s why the leader is confident enough to be challenged and to answer questions. Leaders know that there is no resurrection without death, and no faith without doubt. They say “blessed are those who believe without seeing,” only after allowing doubters to put their hands on their wounded hands and pierced side.
That is why doubt is godly. Christ will use our doubt to help us experience the faith and power of the resurrection. And because of that experience, we Kenyans can have the confidence to ask our leaders to do the same. If the people we voted in promise big things, they must allow us mere mortals to touch their wounded hands and their pierced sides. If they instead turn around and call us names, they are simply confirming our doubt.