Easter Day and, in fact, the whole Easter Season are to me a period to reflect on the hands of love. Firstly, of course, on the hands of Jesus. His hands healed, his hands comforted, his hands reached out to those in need, his hands lovingly held and blessed the children. He animated his talks with gestures of his hands, he raised his hands in praise and thanksgiving, he clasped his hands in prayer for us. But his hands were also pierced with the nails of our sins and wrongdoings, his hands bled for us, his hands stretched out on the cross for us. Jesus’ hands were truly “Hands of Love”.
Secondly, hands are unique, both sensitive and strong. They are versatile tools with 27 bones forming simple hinge joints like the knuckles, and complex saddle joints, such as the base of the thumb, that act as hinges but have some degree of rotation. Ligaments and tendons bind bones together and attach the bones to muscles in the forearm. Thus the fingers and the thumb can move independently in both grasping and pinching. It is awesome to think that our wonderfully complex and useful hands are a gift from God, His gift of love to us, so that we can share His love and our love with others.
And then I am led to reflect on the hands of love in my life, those hands that have left their fingerprints on my life. The patient hands of my father teaching me the intricacies of caring for farm animals, the ever-busy hands of my mom caring for all our needs, the strict hands of Ann Reilly, my elementary school principal, that instilled discipline in us growing children, the loving handshakes and hugs from relatives during our annual July 4 family reunions. The welcoming hands of Jun meeting me at the airport when I first arrived in 1962 and placing the engagement ring on my finger as I came through the arrival gate. The joining of our hands in marriage five days later. The joy of having our hands clasped by our children, and now by our grandchildren and great grandchildren, in complete trust and love. Our hands and the hands of our BCBP brothers and sisters intertwining in prayer, in celebration, in worship, in pray-overs. It seems that the longer I reflect on the hands of love in my life, the longer the list becomes!
One picture that I treasure is one that our eldest granddaughter Bianca took when she visited my mother during Mom’s last days before joining her Creator. The picture is of two hands – my mom’s wrinkled arthritic hand lovingly holding Bianca’s strong, young hand. It is a picture of heart-warming love being passed on from generation to generation, a reminder of the strength of the love that binds us together, regardless of whatever generation we come from.
The hands of love. I look closely at my hands. Are my hands seizing the everyday opportunities and infinite possibilities of doing good, of sharing love, of being Jesus’ hands today?
How about your hands? Are they “hands of love”?