Monday, August 27, 2012

The language of hands

Hands.  How many words pour forth without a mouth from these ten-fingered instruments.  With hands we greet, flirt, hide, hold; we clutch for control, grip in fear, grope in darkness; we make music, make love, make enemies, make food, make messes, make art.  The nuanced language of hands could fill its own dictionary. 

I can read my soul, some days, by the state of my hands.

This morning, hands balled up with fingers curled fetal, fists clenched.  Fear.  Stress.  Stubbornness. Wariness. Holding tight to what?  Control slips through clenched fists like sand through an hour glass.  I have no control, but still my fingers curl in.

I sit and I read and one by one, his words gently massage those tightened hands.

             He starts in here, walks my eyes over there.

                      He sits quietly with me here - and plays me like a guitar there.

And it's these words that begin to coax my fingers free - "I’ll give thanks anyway … give thanks for this it-doesn’t-feel-like-a-gift gift" (Jacque Watkins).  Hands can speak louder than emotions, if they're brave... if they're surrendered... if they trust.  So curled fingers relax into a cupped hand, a somewhat reluctant offering, and that, too, is okay.  

But it's here, it's these words, that carry me deeper than hands cupped upward.  The words, themselves, sing hope: 

Music is made in stress. That a string pulled tight, it has to be plucked, it has to be stressed. Moved from it’s comfortable, resting position. The bending of the string, this induces stress. And as the string bends, as the string arches in stress, and then releases, it vibrates — and there is the offering (Ann Voskamp).

Could it be, hands in this cupped state of grace, release God's hands to play?

In stress, there can be song.

The resonance is in the surrender. ~ Ann V.

I am his guitar, and he stretches taut my strings to release a song that spills from my life and dances me to the tune of his grace.

It is not comfortable.  There is an arch, there is an ache, and my soul is taut.  But it is the only way to create music.


  1. love it! and Ann has ministered to me and helped me learn God's truths about life and thanksgiving and gifts and grace.

  2. Wonderful! I so appreciate how her writing has spoken into my life numerous times. It's a constant learning curve, this walk of thanksgiving... so THANKFUL God is patient and compassionate.