What about these hands?
They aren’t pretty. They’re rough and dry with craggily fingers. There’s often dirt under my nails…or I’ve bitten my nails off. Let’s just say, I could use a manicure.
The more that phrase keeps coming to my mind, the more I start to really think about [and look at] my hands. [and then I resist the urge to bust out into Jewel...nevermind.] I’ve been thinking about where my hands have been and what my hands have done. What my hands wish they’d done. What my hands can do, and will do.
I’ve spent the last two days looking through ALL of my Liberia pictures from the last four years. All 23,193! [no joke.]
I started to take notice of my hands. I started to make mental notes of things my hands have done.
These hands have held and clutched and clasped and gripped and welcomed and worked and encouraged and taught and given and received and explored and moved and created and held on and let go.
I've thought about the situations my hands have dealt with. Times when my hands have just gone up in the air in despair. Days when my hands have clasped tightly onto another hand—a dear friend, a prayer warrior, a dying man, a sick child, a parent who has lost. How my hands have brought and offered all kinds of things—a drink of water, bubbles, food, Bibles, toys, wheelchairs, a warm blanket, my heart, laughter, comfort, medicine—everything. And sometimes nothing at all.
I think those are the best kind.
Hands that are ready and willing. Hands that have no clue. Hands that are nervous or fearful. Hands that are open. Open wide to the Father. Hands needing grace. Hands desperate for joy. Hands raised as an offering. Hands praising and thanking. Hands exploding with worship and awe.
These hands are mine.
I choose what to do with them. Where to take them. I choose yes or no. I choose hard or easy. I choose open or closed.
so. much. responsibility.
so. much. power.
so. much. potential.
I want to be responsible with these hands.
I want to be faithful and loyal with these hands.
I want to share life--the highs and the lows--with these hands.
I want to tell stories and share needs with these hands.
I want to walk alongside, admire, honor and respect with these hands.
I want to love and serve with these hands.
I want to bring laughter, hope and healing with these hands.
God, use these hands.
Despite how powerless and unmotivated and unequipped and plain-jane these hands are--You have used them over and over again--and You will continue to use them. Help me to keep them open. Lifted up to You. Give these hands peace, so that when they’re tempted to tighten their grip, the grip will just relax and the fingers will open again. Make these hands bold and adventurous. Place clear direction on these hands. May these hands never forget where they came from, or what they’ve experienced. These hands mustn't forget what they’ve learned; the hands they’ve held and the moments when it didn’t matter what they were or weren’t capable of. Let these hands continue to bring hope to others...and even sometimes, to myself. Use these hands to bring light to the darkness and to bring Heaven to earth.
Lord, make these hands Your hands.