Ps 134: Lift your hands toward the sanctuary. And praise the Lord.

Think about your hands, what they look like, what they do, but also think about what they represent. Our hands can reveal who we are in our actions. Do they hurt others, grasp and hold on to things, show weakness, indifference or rebel against God? Do they give to others, help when needed, love others, show hospitality, comfort, security, and strength?

Many people believe their life is in their own hands, but is it? Now look at the hands where you placed your life. Are they cold to the touch because they are so far from God? Are they dried up with guilt, shame, prejudice, bigotry or all-consuming lust? Are they discolored and necrotic from years of evil? Are they putrid and rotted with sin? Do they feel warm with God’s love? Are they tender with mercy, grace, generosity and compassion for others? Are the veins surging with the blood of Jesus that saves?

As I raise my hands in praise to the God of the universe, I look up and see hands reaching down to me. The same hands I saw, at age 18, as I lay unconscious in a hospital bed hemorrhaging. My body ghostly white, blood dripping from crisp white sheets to pool on the floor. I heard the words, “Bleeding out, no blood pressure, pulse faint.” I turned back to those hands of love, warmth and compassion, and the light so beautiful that I wanted to follow. I looked up to the white robed figure, unable to see the down turned face and know that I must not follow. It’s not my time. I awoke, hours later, with a friend holding my warm, pink hand. I will never forget those hands of love, compassion, healing and forgiveness and will always raise mine in praise to the one who saved me.

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