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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What Are You Doing With Those Hands?

Your hands shook.

They trembled when you slipped the silver band on my ring-finger. And in my sun-streaked church, where I'd thought and dreamed of this day for thousands of moments, God placed a marriage covenant into our hands.

Our hands clasped together and bumped under the weight of it.

Like golden apples on a silver scale.

Remember how we didn't spend much time in our engagement season reading books about how to be a husband and wife to each other?

We put our hands at other plows: searching for a home, the perfect couch and ottoman for the living room corner, dreaming and writing about days to come. We registered for gifts. We leafed through catalogs and venue options.

We wriggled and twisted our fingers, waiting for the day when we'd be placed into the hands of the other.

Then the day came. And I knew the moment I wrapped my palm around my almost-husband's, while we were speaking our vows, we were being given something delicate. Strong. Assured. We were being given to each other.

We're more than a bride and groom. We're more than a couple who chose to do their dating relationship a little differently. We're entrusted to each other.

And that's no small task to put our hands to.

I don't know where your hands are today, but maybe it's time for

a hand-check.

Not a middle school youth-retreat hand-check, but an honest-to-goodness look at what we're putting our hands to these days. 

Maybe they're relaxed and unfurled, springing from the fresh new weight of something in your care. Like a marriage. A job prospect. A child. A new relationship. A talent. A dream. Anything.

Or maybe your palms are marked with the scars of betrayal, disappointment or a sense that you don't know where you're going. Or if you're doing enough. Or if this pedestrian day-in-and-out way of living, the traffic, the grocery shopping, the job you wish you could grow out of, is all that there is.

Maybe your fingers are clenched. Maybe they're bound in bitterness. I don't know.

All I know is that when I was holding his hands, the hands that were trembling at the altar, I thought about how my palms have the lines of bitterness and panic traced into them. And how it seems so easy to keep your hands clenched from giving or receiving.

But it's those fists that hurt us the most.

And they're primed to be the force that hurt others, too.

I believe we serve a God who wants to place hope and a future into our hands. And if you're a Believer, you know that they're the things we know we didn't work for or deserve. They were placed there. We were given a quiet tap, tap, tap! on the shoulder about them.

Whether you're the lover of a man, a woman, a career, a God, a family, a friend, a dream, a passion: I hope you hold them gingerly. I hope you unfurl your fingers, and I hope you let the hurt topple out so you can move on.

I hope you let the hurt topple out so you can spend time tending to the things God has placed in your hands.

photo credit: Free Blue Teardrop Rhinestone Ring on Finger Creative Commons via photopin (license)

photo credit: via photopin (license)

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