Hands

handsHave you ever just looked at your hands? I mean, meditate on them. A couple months ago I was on retreat writing in my journal and for some reason my hands caught my attention. While writing you almost take your hands for granted. They quietly do the work while your brain focuses on the words to be written.

Our hands, like our whole bodies, are amazing gifts from God and they have many uses. Think about how your hands have been used: to work, to give, to receive, to hurt, to love, to high-five, to give the finger, to communicate and express, to pray, to heal, to hit, to caress, to eat, to brush your teeth. There is no visible body part that does quite as much as our hands. It’s worth reflecting on how we use the gift of our hands as we interact with our world.

I’m reminded of when Jesus said, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” (see Mark 3:4) In a similar way, how often do our hands give life versus cause harm? What do we put in our hands? How do we allow our hands to be used by God to bring good to our lives and the lives of others? How often do we lease out our hands to the work of the evil spirit?

The next time you’re eating your cereal or shaking someone’s hand thank God for your hands and consider how you use them to bring Christ into the world.

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

-Teresa of Avila

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