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Loving hands demonstrate care and hope

Looking at my hands, I ponder all the times I have held a pen or pecked away at a keyboard to write sermons, articles, and speeches. I think how these hands gently lowered new Christians into baptismal waters. These hands have held the hands of others who were traversing loss and grief. They have been used to softly cradle my youngest granddaughter born prematurely and weighing just a pound and a half. These hands, folded in prayer, beseeched God’s loving care as she fought for her life in those first critical weeks. At age 15 now, she is a brilliant artist and uses her own hands in creativity and imagination.

I am reminded that Isaiah 49:16 reads: “I have not forgotten you. I have carved you on the palms of my hands.” The apostle Mark recounts: “And He took the children in His arms and put His hands on them and blessed them” (10:12).

I am reminded of the “hear no evil; speak no evil; see no evil” monkey figurines that used to be so popular. The hands cover the

ears to keep from hearing gossip and foul words, hands cover the mouth to keep from speaking unkind words, and hands cover the eyes to prevent temptation. So much is communicated just by moving one’s hands.

Think about it: an open hand or a closed fist; a raised hand that says “stay away” or a hand waving to invite another closer; the offering of one’s hand to help; a handshake to seal a deal; a hand

extended in fellowship and greeting—all communicate much by the hand.

Scripture bears witness to the importance of hands. There are more than 1,700 references to hands in the Old Testament alone. In the New Testament, it is the laying on of hands that is associated with the coming of the Holy Spirit and setting apart for service. Hands in the Old Testament can be used to emphasize the care

and concern of God, the strength of God, and the protection of God, and at least in one notable passage, the promise of God to remember us in our struggles.

God’s hands offer real care