Our hands and fingers are storytellers. They carry the touch and feel of our life experiences. They help us with what we need, reach for what we want, create a living, give direction, and express how we feel. Our hands protect us and can protect others. They can be extended to others in a time of need for comfort and compassion. Our hands can also harm. Our hands are a gift as they help us tell our life story.
Was mesmerized during communion the other day (a time in a faith community where we share in a sacred tradition of eating some bread dipped in wine or grape juice and pause to remember what the Lord did for the world, namely setting the world free to love). The hands who came to tear the bread and dip it in the cup were incredibly unique. Each hand with fingers scarred or painted, some with jewelry and others with nails bitten. There were calloused hands, and soe without a finger, and some whose hands were crooked and bent. Some were dirty, some spotted with age, some shaking and others quick. There were those who were small and young and soft and gentle, and others that were short and others long. Every hand told a story of their life as they reached into the plate, took their piece of bread and dipped it into the cup (a spiritual moment of touching The Other's sacrificial love). Awed by the beauty of The Other who welcomes all of our hands without condition it was encouraging to feel the Holy with each other, in the forgiveness and hope and joy of our lives. Each of our hands telling our story, as they touched another story of grace and mercy, was a powerful Spirit filled moment where heaven met earth in our hands; touching the face of God and feeling the hands and side of the Lord. It was a moment in our life where people were reaching out to each other, and no matter who we were or what our hands had been through, we were welcome at God's table of love together. Perhaps our hands are blessed to become a blessing of hope for the world where The Other's story of grace and peace is told through our touch, our work, and our expressions for each other.
In your family take a moment this week to look at each other's hands and to share about where your hands can best be used to share in a holy moment at home? In the workplace take a moment to see other's hands, and as you shake hands this week with clients recognize who they are and what they have been through. Take a look at your hands and fingers, what amazing story do they tell of the encouragement they are and have been for you?
Dr. Tom Lobaugh