Friday, November 9, 2012
Look at your hands.
Look to the skin, the fingers, the bruises, the marks, the calluses, the birthmarks, the years of writing and typing, the years of holding and carrying, the years of eating, the years of praying.
Look to the work of your hands and remember the experiences and encounters, the lives touched, the bodies embraced, the warmth and the coldness.
I look at my hands and I open them to the memories and experiences of touch, relationships, work, fellowship, prayer, and play. I open my hands and I see the hands of many who have touched my hands with theirs. I remember the many varied and diverse hands that embraced me, challenged me, taught me, loved me, prayed with me, ate with me, and held me.
I see Ruth and her 97-year-old arthritic hands, her long sweaters that cover the twists and bends, her hands that have held both sorrow and joy, hands that monthly continue to fold the church newsletter in love.
I see Nadine and her 87-year-old hands moving with the beat of music on her saxophone. The breath of life continuing to inspire.
I see Laurie as she raises her hands to conduct music and the gift of voices joining together; I see Jeff as his hands glide over the keys and bring music to the air; Sarah as her hands drum to create rhythm and power and move us all to the beat of life.
I see Ndey and Hancha and the other Gambian women as they show me their calloused, rough, and bruised hands; theirs are hands that have seen struggle, worked in pain and yet, still create life and joy in the midst of their labors.
I see Erica and John and Andrea as they embrace and are embraced by the hands of their baby.
I feel the hands of family as prayers are said to bless my marriage. Hands lifted in prayer and hands open to love.
Whose hands do you see holding yours? Whose hands reach out to you in love?
Look at your hands. Look. Wait.
Look towards the manger and see, soon, the hands of our savior, the hands of a baby, the hands of an infant. Pure and simple, hands of love. Hands poised to welcome all. Hands open to new life and resurrection. Hands to embrace the world.