I sat beside the hospital bed of a friend I loved as nearly as I love my own soul. I watched as doctors administered medication that would take him close to the brink of death in an effort to save his life. Helplessly I asked what I could do. “Just hold my hand” came the reply. Hands clasped and eyes held as silence spoke what words could not utter. Comfort.
From the wheelchair our daughter’s hand reaches out to clasp the hand of one who walks beside her. Another pushes the chair and does for her what she cannot do for herself. Yet from her seated position, she reaches out to any other human being walking close enough to be touched. Connection.
Walking side by side my husband and I join hands enjoying the evening air. Riding in the car, often in silence, his hand reaches over and takes mine. Standing together in a congregation, I slip my hand in his. Companionship.
Prayers before surgery when hearts are tense, the pastor reaches for the hand of those he leads. Families gather and wait for news or sit together in funeral parlors and often just clasp hands, even for a brief second and then released. Sharing news with a friend that will bring uncertainty, we reach to join hands. Compassion.
Strangers are introduced and exchange a handshake. Friends are reunited and as a welcome gesture they connect hands. Lovers clasp hands as an expression of their devotion. Communication.
The young boy reaches his tiny hand up…way up…for his daddy’s much larger hand as they walk by the way. The daughter clasps her father’s hand and squeezes before he leaves her at the altar. A reminder that trust is taken from the heart of a child and placed in the care of the parent, and that security has been rendered. Confirmation.
Shaking hands for a job well done, the recipient feels validated and affirmed. Awards are given, kind words expressed and applause is heard, but the affirmation takes place when hands are joined. Congratulations.
Heads are bowed around a table filled with provisions to say grace in gratitude for their blessings. Children tucked in at night and prayers whispered in thanks for a good day and request for a peaceful nights rest. Quiet prayers uttered on behalf of those in need of healing, help, protection or salvation. Heartfelt cries to a God who created the soul that utters groanings that only He can understand. Communion.
I’ve placed my trust in the hand of many on this journey of life. I’ve embraced my husband’s hand for nearly three decades. I’ve held the tiny hands of my children and watched those hands grow all too quickly. I’ve clasped the hand of many a friend in times of need…mine and theirs. I’ve exchanged handshakes with new acquaintances and people with whom I share spiritual worship on a weekly basis. And I’ve had to release the hands of many that I love as death slipped them away from my grasp.
Yet, the one hand that I love the most and in whom I place my trust is the Hand of God.
The Hand that held me up when my legs crumpled under grieve too heavy to bear.
The Hand that touched my shoulder in the intensive care room when doctors said my baby would not live.
The Hand that has offered grace over and over and still over again to me in times of need.
The Hand that has picked me up and dusted me off when my humanity got the best of me.
The Hand that extends mercy when I am most undeserving.
The Hand that has protected me when I have given guardian angels reason for pause.
The Hand that has directed my path and ordered my steps when I could not see where He was taking me.
The Hand I have clutched in faith when life was uncertain.
The Hand that affirms me when I feel unworthy.
YES, THAT HAND…the mighty, unmeasurable Hand of God.
You know the one, the Hand that bears a wound from the nail that pierced it on my behalf.
Yes, the Hand that parted the Red Sea for a multitude of people facing desperation.
Oh and the Hand that multiplied the meager lunch of a boy who placed his faith in that Hand.
That same Hand that washed the feet of His disciples to show them they were valued.
Indeed, the Hand that healed those who placed their trust in Him.
The very Hand that stretched forth and welcomed a child to sit on His lap while He taught.
YES, THAT IS HAND I MOST LOVE AND IN WHOM I PLACE MY TRUST.
Grateful for hands today!