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Open Hands

If prizes were being handed out for feeling I would be a top achiever because I am what is known as a “highly sensitive person” commonly known as an HSP. Of late, I have been feeling a lot – some of it from my own flesh but some, I believe in my spirit and from the Lord.

A short while ago I tried to work on an art piece to depict connection/community. I had a picture in my mind but, try as I might, I couldn’t get it to work. It was an image of people sitting around a table holding hands. I couldn’t get the hands to look like they were really connecting around the circle and it looked awkward and inauthentic so I gave up and scrapped the idea. I remember thinking “oh I was trying to make it work because Mike asked me to do it.” As days went by I found myself thinking about my own hands. Are they open or closed, clenched, holding onto things of the past? Then I wanted to see my hands held outwards, palms up, away from myself and towards something/someone else. My fingers were splayed out so that what I had been holding onto fell to the ground.

I had written in my journal last week “What are we to do, Lord? I don’t want to be pulled into the mire of “them and us.” Help us Lord I pray. Things seem disjointed, out of whack, somewhat awkward at times. Holy Spirit, we need your healing flow.

Then, in my journal, I drew a very quick sketch of outstretched hands. By the side of the hands I wrote “surrender, open-handed, needing to let go, and then to receive, we need your cleansing your purification. Let us walk in the love and freedom you have provided and paid the price for.”

This sense increased over the weekend and then on Sunday by the time it came for the evening’s praise and prayer time I had a strong impression to take my sketchpad and coloured pencils along with me, feeling that I should draw the outstretched hands. (I’ve never done that before - taking my crayons with me to church, and the “good girl” voice kept saying “you shouldn’t do that, it wouldn’t look good to sit at the back of church and draw and colour!) But I did it anyway!

During the evening prayers were prayed, songs were sung and I pressed on with the open hands which were by no means perfect (I was working in lamplight).

I had a growing sense of the call to reach out with open hands so that the Lord could do what He wanted to do.

It meant complete surrender, letting go, extending ourselves ultimately to Him, but also to other people. I took my imperfect picture up to the front and held it out revealing my heart and exposing my heart’s cry recognizing an utter need of the Lord. I remember praying, “We can’t live like this anymore, with the heaviness of what we are carrying and holding onto. We need you Lord, only you can do this. Help us to take you at your word, to let go of the things that keep us weighed down, held back and help us to move towards you and one another; to walk in step with you to the sound and rhythm of a different drum.

When I look at you

What do I see,

Beyond the cold quick glance

You’ve shot my way?

How can I know what lies behind

That tightlipped smile?

Is it denial or revile?

Who can tell if the spell

Has beguiled us with lies,

Preventing us from being real

Saying or owning what we feel

Hearts cold like steel?

I want to see love

From the throne up above,

But I need it here, down below,

Long and slow,

Making my heart glow.

Will it come from some

Who are not so glum?

‘Come, come don’t be dumb!”

Beats that harrowing drum.

Jesus' last words were not ... "It is finished!"

Let us listen to the beat of a different drum - the rhythm of a grateful heart beating in step with the Lord. Let us hold onto Him - not losing the connection with Him because He is our strength and song!

We want to move forward. And He wants to help us do that. Now is the time!

Carol Watson

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