While reading the story of Jesus confirming to his disciples, and specifically Thomas, that he was alive again, found in John 20:19-29...
...I had my youngest two copy, color...
...and glue the last part of verse 29 around empty cardboard tubes.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
Thomas had seen Jesus die with his own eyes. He wasn't going to believe the reports that He was alive again, unless he saw, and touched Jesus, himself.
We talked for a while about Thomas. It's hard to blame him for doubting. You can't always believe everything you hear, or even see (after all, we've even seen penguins fly!).
"In fact," I told the children. "I can even show you a hole right through your own hands. Have I ever shown you that before?"
Apparently, I hadn't.
Which is surprising, because the old hole in the hand illusion has always been one of my favorites. (Note to homeschooling parents of largish families: Just because you've shown something to your older children, doesn't mean the younger children won't need to see it, too).
Anyway, once we'd finished looking at the holes in our own, and each other's hands, I brought it back to the story. The holes Jesus showed to Thomas weren't illusions, Thomas had seen the nails driven in. But, seeing wasn't the point, believing was what mattered then, and what still matters today. God gave Thomas what He needed, and while different, He gives us today, what we need, too.
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:10 NIV