I ran across a piece of art a few years ago and I regret I didn’t walk home with it. Art is hard for me that way, it strikes when I’m not expecting it and my pragmatic side takes over. I loved it and I walked away empty handed that day but the image stays with me.
The sculpture was a wood carving of a muscled arm and hand reaching down open and ready to grasp the out stretched hand of a small child. It was beautiful, detailed, smooth.
It fascinates me that a simple gesture holds so much meaning and so many meanings.
Support, comfort, love, discipline, warmth, protection, guidance…all in a simple contact. There’s the interlocked fingers of a first crush, the handshake of an introduction, the wrist hold when a toddler attempts to break free on a busy street, the help up a step for the elderly, guidance for the blind, comfort on a steep mountain trail, prayer, comfort.
In the chaos of our current transition back to the U.S. of A. I’ve wanted to reach out and hold something, anything, steady. I’d love to reach up and be a dependent again…cede all decisions and provision to someone greater and more capable. But, I’m the adult and other hands reach to me now.
It is a challenge. Every morning I stumble out of bed and thank my Lord for programmable coffee makers while I attempt to make myself available to His hand. As much as I say I want dependence, I don’t do it very well…at all!
I read my Bible for a while and then start planning…not praying…planning. If I hadn’t jettisoned my almost-used-up planner before we left Asia it would reveal over the top efforts to stabilize my life.
In the last days overseas I discovered the held hand picture in the Bible again. Passages in Psalms about not being hurled headlong because He holds our hand.
This last week I latched onto the image of the sculpture again, an image to reflect on as I seek to depend on Him more. In the New Testament I guess you’d call it the abiding life from John 15, the grapevine. Another picture.
I do so love the common real-life images that fill the Bible with images of life with God. Constant reminders of His presence. Alas, I regret anew passing over that beautiful wood carving!
What common images remind you of God?