Hands are fascinating things. I’ve been blessed with the standard set, one left, one right. I am very definitely right-handed, and my poor left hand has often born the brunt of the right hand being dominant. I counted once that I have had over 125 stitches in my left hand over the years. As a result, my left hand is missing a tendon or two, and its geography is unique. I can still play guitar, sort of, barre chords are almost impossible, and I’ll never be Eddie Van Halen or a Leo Kottke, but I have fun.
As the picture shows, it is still highly functional for essential things like holding my wife’s hand. Granted I have had a lot of practice, in fact, if I remember rightly it was 32 years ago either today or tomorrow, that I held her hand for the first time on choir tour in Chicago. We have held hands in the giddiness of young love, before the altar where we made promises before God and everyone and amid difficult times, tragedy and mourning. In these moments our hands come together, and somehow it is the perfect thing to do.
When I was young, I was fascinated by the hands of my family. My mother’s hands were smooth and comforting; they were exactly what a mother’s hands should be. My dad’s hands were large and strong but with long almost elegant fingers. It didn’t matter whose hands I was in mom’s or dad’s, I knew I was safe, I’d be cared for, and I was loved.
I think that is exactly what the psalmist is communicating in our reading today, it echo’s yesterdays focus on trust, but this time recognizing that we are in God’s hands. It’s evident that not everything is perfect in the Psalmists world. There are enemy and persecutors grasping hands at work here as well, but the Psalmist knows as we do, that we are held safely in God’s hands that God will deliver us from all evil and bring us to life. As we enter into Holy Week, it is good to remember in the ups and downs we are safely held in God’s hands.