A Poem by E. Shillito: Jesus of the Scars

 Jesus of the Scars

by Edward Shillito

“Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” John 20:27

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;

We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow; We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm; In all the universe we have no place.

Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm? Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.

If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near, Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;

We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear, Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.

The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak; They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,

And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

A poem by Edward Shillito (1872-1948), a Free Church minister in England during the First World War. Cited by D.A. Carson in How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil on page 170 of the 2nd edition. According to Carson: The poem is found in Shillito’s Jesus of the Scars, and Other Poems, but I have not been able to obtain a copy. The poem is reprinted in William Temple, Readings in St. John’s Gospel (New York: St. Martin’s, 1968), 366).