Monday, September 20, 2010

Holding Hands

 These are my hands. They are small, somewhat wrinkled and the fingers are slightly bent. I have not always taken care of my hands, the skin is dry and I forget to use lotion. They've known a few walls in their time when I would use them to lash out in anger. They've been stretched and bent trying to lift more than they should because I refused to ask for help.

These are my hands. They have reached out in love and hospitality taking  others' hands in their small grip. They've pushed away in fear, confusion, need and even love. Sometimes I think they have a mind of their own. There are times when I sit to write with no image in my mind or whisper within my heart. They just take off talking to the keyboard and words appear on the computer screen. They laugh, they clap in joy and they form a fist that jumps into the air when they've mastered something new. They are always the first part of my body to touch the Gulf waters, a stream or lake.

These are my hands. They become a fist when confronted with injustice, but never strike. They become the knot at the end of the rope for one losing their grip. They sing paragraphs of hope in a world that can leave my heart in despair. They hold my head when I'm in pain. They hold my face when I am confused. They leave my change in the vending machine so another's hands will feel the excitement of receiving more. They are soft in their compassion. They will close in prayer and when I bow to the sacred in life. They open when they see need and point to the sun and moon to remind myself and others of the day's gifts and life's constancy. They are not perfect but they will always start over again, and again and again.

These are my hands. To you, keeper of my heart and breath, my hand will always hold yours. You may have to hold on tight, I can get carried away. You may have to lead, sometimes I can get distracted. You may feel my hand tighten, sometimes I can get afraid. And the hand not holding yours will be reaching out in its softness, promising you that your work will not be done alone.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Yes, I think that is probably right. For me, you can see my soul in my eyes, but to see me, look at my hands.