Praying with Hands

God made the nations so they would seek him, perhaps even reach out to him and find him. In fact, God isn’t far away from any of us. (Acts 17:27, CEB)

The other day I sat mesmerized, entranced even, by a new mother and her darling baby. There were the requisite “coos” and tickles from mom, but the thing which caught my Inquisitive Baby.jpgattention was what the baby was doing. It was reaching its arms out desperately trying to grab onto something. Shirt, hand, or hair, it did not matter. The baby needed an anchor, something to hold on to, to give it bearing, or even meaning in a turbulent world.

Reaching out, it could have gripped the first thing to offer itself, anything to give definition and meaning. Work certainly would have fit the bill. I’m a lineman. I’m a lawyer. I’m a nurse. I’m a teacher. I’m a banker. I’m a minister. One can cling to that for awhile.

There’s the myriad of relationships which give us a reason to wake up. I’m a daughter. I’m a husband. I’m a friend. I’m a grandma. These can last for a time. New ones can even emerge within the context of a new day.

What about interests and convictions? I’m a Cubs/Cardinals fan. I’m a golfer. I’m a reader. I’m a biker. I’m a snow skier. I’m a Big Sister. I’m a gamer. I’m a Lion/Eagle/Moose/Rotarian… These fill in the cracks, hold our attention, help us grasp something for a bit.

Of course, there are always those things which seek to swallow us within themselves: the search for wealth, the pursuit of the perfect body, the next Netflix show, best Instagram post, the bottle or needle.

Baby had a lifetime ahead of her to grab onto any and all. Meaning was at her very fingertips.

Instead, Mom offered her hand and the child snatched up in its vice-like grip. It was like the baby tried to pull it close, to hold on and never let go. The small fingers with bones no larger than rice clung with all their might, all their power. huy-phan-100866There was safety in finally finding the hand of the one who cares in every way, who listens to your cries, who loves unconditionally.

There’s something to be said for resting in the one in whom we live and move and have our being. When we can stop and say, “it is well with my soul” and actually mean it.


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