Today's Lectionary Text
Psalm 37:24, Psalm 139:10though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
for the Lord holds us by the hand. ...
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
Near the middle of Fidalgo Island, in western Washington State, Mount Erie rises to offer a magnificent view of the Puget Sound, 1,273 feet below. Several of our family members were hiking from the parking lot up to the summit. I love to hike, and I was part of the group. As we climbed it became clear that the incline was very steep. Tree roots jutted up along the narrow path and sharp half-buried rocks were plentiful all along the way. It was a great hike, but it was scary. Andy, my son-in-law, walked in front of me. As we progressed, and I sometimes struggled, Andy’s hand was right there, reaching back for mine. He patiently extended his help all the way to the top.
Andy’s hands upheld me. He was careful, and I felt enveloped in his caring strength. It reminded me of being cradled in God’s hands and held in God’s unlimited love. So often God’s love appears in life through the human events of any old day. Many times, that appearance is unexpected. God’s hand is there in a surprising way. My hunch is that God’s presence becomes stronger and more obvious as we open ourselves to it.
On Mount Erie, Andy’s hand helped me not to “be thrown down” (“fall headlong,” NRSV). There in the middle of a gorgeous, living evergreen forest, I was being led and held tightly. I was safe.
Today how can we each be the hand that reaches out to one another? Is there someone who might need steadying in their journey? What support does the client at Open Door need? Who is going through rough treatment for a serious illness and can use prayer support? Does the neighbor next door, who is overwhelmed with parenting by himself, need a listening ear? What UMCOR project would benefit greatly this month by the mission dollars we share?
The opportunities are countless. Each of us can be God’s hands in some way to someone in the world right now. No waiting is necessary! Today let’s pattern our living after God’s model; let’s each be a manifestation of God’s hands.
-- Dianne Tombaugh, retired elder
Prayer for Reflection
Thank you for your strong and caring hands, your enveloping and ever-present love O Holy One. Make us your hands in the world throughout this day. Show each of us where we can serve you best. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
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