A Holy Hand

I have just returned from Madhira, India, where I visited twenty-one of the churches that we help to support. After each service, people came to me for a touch, a prayer, a blessing. Young and old they came, the old and feeble, the sick and suffering, the discouraged and despairing. Parents bringing their sick child, a mother holding up her newborn infant, widows needing comfort, teenagers seeking some kind of future.

Often I was led away from the village church to enter tiny homes, to touch and pray for a crippled child, a young man dying with AIDS, a father struggling after a stroke.

I confess their pleas for prayer were a little unnerving for me. I felt so inadequate, powerless in the face of such overwhelming need. I had to relearn something I must have forgotten somewhere along the way. You and I have the power to bless, to touch and to pray and to know that the power is not in us or from us. Other hands, unseen hands, scarred hands are reaching out through our own touch to heal and to bless.

Frederick Buechner expresses my feelings in these words from Godric:  

"To touch me and to feel my touch they come. To take at my hands whatever of Christ or comfort such hands have. Of their own, my hands have nothing more than any man's and less now at this tottering, lamewit age of mine when most of what I ever had is more than mostly spent. But it's as if my hands are gloves, and in them other hands than mine, and those the ones that folk appear with roods of straw to seek. It's holiness they hunger for, and if by some mad grace it's mine to give, if I've a holy hand inside my hand to touch them with, I'll touch them day and night."


Regina Sudheer said…
Thank you pastor Drew for sharing from Fred Buechner. I had not heard of him before (but then there are so many that we don't hear of in Madhira! ;) I checked him out and I do "somewhat" know him now. I will be looking out for his books in the coming days and hope to get to know him better. What draws me to him and captured my imagination is how his imagery at once takes you away from self to Christ.

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